Quotations or quotes are representative phrases and sentences that highlight the main ideas and beliefs writers use to convey the same to the audience. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House has various quotes that show its themes, ideas, and opinions. Some of the quotes from A Doll’s House have been analyzed below.
Quotes in A Doll’s House
“Yes – some day, perhaps, after many years, when I am no longer as pretty as I am now. Don’t laugh at me! I mean, of course, when Torvald is no longer as devoted to me as he is now; when my dancing and dressing-up and reciting have palled on him then it may be a good thing to have something in reserve.”
Nora, the protagonist of the play, speaks these words in response to Mrs. Linde’s question. She asks her if she is ready to face Torvald in the future and tells her the real story behind the debt. She also tells her that in a few years, she will lose her beauty and Torvald will also lose his feelings of love for her. Then she will have this story to tell him and that she will preserve this story for that time. These lines are significant as they show Nora’s realistic character.
“To be able to be free from care, quite free from care; to be able to play and romp with the children; to be able to keep the house beautifully and have everything just as Torvald likes it!”
In the first act, Nora is with Mrs. Linde. She expresses that she will be free from cares and worries after she has paid the debt to Krogstad. In fact, she sees the happiness of Torvald in making the house beautiful instead of her own. These lines are significant as they show dramatic irony because she is unaware of how Torvald would react when he comes to know about her debt.
“Your squirrel would run about and do all her tricks if you would be nice and do as she wants.”
Nora is trying to distract her husband, Torvald as tries to hide the truth of her debt and also keep Krogstad at the bank before he spills her secret.
“It is no use lying to one’s self. I am the most wretched of all my patients, Mrs. Helmer. Lately, I have been taking stock of my internal economy. Bankrupt!”
Dr. Rank is speaking to Nora and tells her that her husband Torvald is going to die soon. As the doctor says these words, Nora realizes that they loved each other so much, and they have been lying to protect each other. This is also an example of irony.
“How should you understand it? A wonderful thing is going to happen!”
Nora is speaking to Mrs. Linde when she confesses that she cannot understand many things. While saying these words, she hopes that her husband Torvald could take responsibility for her action and perhaps clear her name from the bank after forging her father’s signature. However, that does not happen, and she decides to leave her husband.
“Why shouldn’t I look at my dearest treasure? – at all the beauty that is mine, all my very own?”
Torvald Helmer speaks these lines to charm his wife, Nora. These lines show that he loves her very much as he praises her. It also shows that he loves her as his possession instead of a human being. However, Dr. Rank treats her as equal and adores her when she is not dressed in fancy clothes.
“There is a big black hat — have you never heard of hats that make you invisible? If you put one on, no one can see you.”
Dr. Rank speaks to Nora in ambiguous language that only both of them can understand. He means that her husband Torvald, would not understand this language. Dr. Rank means that he will be dead as he would not be attending the next fancy-dress ball. Therefore, the black hat here means death.
“Do you know, Nora, I have often wished that you might be threatened by some great danger, so that I might risk my life’s blood, and everything, for your sake.”
Torvald says these words under the influence of Nora’s beauty in the fabulous dress she is wearing. He vows to save her from any danger even if he would have to risk his own life. However, his resolution seems to surpass Nora’s expectations. Once he learns about the Krogstad’s debt, he disowns her but tells her to continue to live with him for the sake of his reputation.
“From this moment, happiness is not the question; all that concerns us is to save the remains, the fragments, the appearance.”
After vowing to save her from any difficult times, Torvald comes to know about the debt and tells her that he does not accept her now as he has to save the rest of the things. He, however, tells her that he would keep her in the house but not as his wife or mother of their children. Instead, they would live together as a husband and wife only to show it to the world.
“I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you wanted it like that. You and father have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life. our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was father’s doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.”
Nora speaks these lines to Torvald to make him realize that she has been a doll for him and not a wife. She has sacrificed her desires and education to perform her role just like she has been a doll by being a perfect daughter for her father. As she is a doll in relation, she also treats children as her dolls. In fact, she regrets that he has not considered her an equal partner in marriage.