Online Learning of A Doll’s House, Day 14

Goals for the Week:

  1. Write a response to a prompt analyzing A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.
  2. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates.
  3. Finalize all work on A Doll’s House and our Feminism unit and prepare for our next learning experience!

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Remind ourselves of the ending of A Doll’s House
  2. Consider this character study of Nora Helmer
  3. Form an opinion: Do you think Nora made the right decision?

Today’s Lesson!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze the complex character of Nora Helmer by reading a character study and reviewing A Doll’s House so that I can decide if she made the right choice to leave her family.


It’s been a week since we finished reading the play, so I wanted to give you a chance to review the ending of the play. This is probably the best movie version 🙂

Work Session: 

Your assignment for this week!

This week is your largest assignment to date! Each day we will explore a different topic related to feminism and A Doll’s House. I have made a Google Doc with 5 prompts, one for each day this week. CHOOSE ONE PROMPT and write a paragraph in response to it.

Type your response in this document!

Remember, you only need to respond to ONE prompt this week!

Today’s Topic: Nora’s Choice

Nora’s choice to leave her family at the end of the play is very controversial. Check out this quote from the end of act III:

Nora. What do you consider my most sacred duties?

Helmer. Do I need to tell you that? Are they not your duties to your husband and your children?

Nora. I have other duties just as sacred.

Helmer. That you have not. What duties could those be?

Nora. Duties to myself.

Helmer. Before all else, you are a wife and a mother.

Nora. I don’t believe that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are–or, at all events, that I must try and become one.

Nora’s “duties” to be a wife and mother, she says, come second to her duties to herself as a human being. I know most of you reading this aren’t moms, but I bet your moms know this feeling – your kids are supposed to be the most important thing in the world, but how are you supposed to take care of them if you don’t also take care of yourself?

This is a common sentiment in mom groups:

Or, another common one, when you’re on an airplane they always tell you that if the oxygen masks pop out of the ceiling, you’re supposed to put your own mask on before you assist your children with theirs:

When Nora walks out on her husband and children, she knows the kids will be cared for by Anne, the nanny. And Torvald makes plenty of money, so finances aren’t a problem. So that leads us to the big question:

  • Did Nora make the right choice to leave her family and find herself?

Check out this character study of Nora Helmer. It talks about how Nora goes from childish and flighty to determined and resolute. This is an important part:

Since the premiere of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” much has been discussed regarding the final controversial scene. Why does Nora leave not only Torvald but her children as well? Many critics and theater-goers questioned the morality of the play’s resolution. In fact, some productions in Germany refused to produce the original ending. Ibsen acquiesced and grudgingly wrote an alternate ending in which Nora breaks down and cries, deciding to stay, but only for her children’s sake.

What do you think? This is your writing prompt for the day, if you choose to do today’s, but even if you don’t want to write about it, I want you to form an opinion. Did Nora do the right thing to leave her kids and husband behind? Or should she have stayed?

Closing Session: 

While we’re talking about self-care, let me remind you that it’s important for you to take care of yourself while we’re all in isolation. Check out this article from NPR with some tips for self care during the time of quarantine:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay physically active
  • Get regular sleep and rest
  • Create a sense of structure and routine in daily life
  • Connect socially with friends and family, while maintaining physical distance

…and then go do something to take care of yourself today!

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Checklist

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1. Remind ourselves what a theme is and how to find one.
  2. Consider some possible themes of A Doll’s House.
  3. Find out the topic of OUR NEXT UNIT!!!!!

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