Dust off your Classics : A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

September 4, 2015 Book review, Dust off Your Classics 11 ★★★½

Once upon a time there were two bookworms who wanted to read Classics.  But they were afraid, a little intimidated and needed encouragement.  So they joined forces and formed the Dust off your Classics challenge to support each other.  Dee from Dee Read’s and myself read our way through some good classics, some great classics and found so much in these books that is surprisingly still relevant.  So much so that I want to continue reading them and will continue to share my thoughts here on any I get through.

Dust off Your Classics


This time around I’m dusting off a classic play that was recommended to me by Rita of View from My Home.  She mentioned that she studied it years ago in a Women’s Lit class and after loving The Handmaiden’s Tale, I was up for more in this category.

Dust off your Classics : A Doll’s House by Henrik IbsenA Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
Published by Hard Press on 2 Jan 1879
Genres: Classic, Emotions & Feelings, play
Pages: 122
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Freebie
Narrator: Claire Danes

One of the best-known, most frequently performed of modern plays, displaying Ibsen's genius for realistic prose drama. A classic expression of women's rights, the play builds to a climax in which the central character, Nora, rejects a smothering marriage and life in "a doll's house." A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Five Classic Reasons to dust off and read A Doll’s House :


  1. Timeless Theme: The theme of what a woman’s role in a family should be is a timeless.  As are disputes over money.  These premises made the play still seem relevant today.
  2. Entertaining: If you are put off reading classics because you think they will be dull or hard to wade though, then this is one that might change your mind.  The language is very straight forward and I was thoroughly entertained by the story. Infuriated but entertained.
  3. Very quick read: This play is only 90 odd pages long and took me less than 1 hour to read so it’s only a very short time investment.  And it’s well worth it.
  4. Interesting symbolism throughout.  Even the name itself suggests that Nora is just a doll living within a dolls house being moved around at her husband’s whim.  The names he calls her ‘my little squirrel’ and ‘my skylark’ make me grit my teeth as they came across as condescending and showed his thoughts on the role of a wife.
  5. Divisive Ending: The ending made me think so hard!  I kind of hated it View Spoiler »But I loved that it made me think so long after I had finished reading it.

“I believe that before anything else I’m a human being — just as much as you are… or at any rate I shall try to become one. I know quite well that most people would agree with you, Torvald, and that you have warrant for it in books; but I can’t be satisfied any longer with what most people say, and with what’s in books. I must think things out for myself and try to understand them.”

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen?

Well you!  If you three or more or my reasons above resonate with you!


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11 Responses to “Dust off your Classics : A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen”

  1. Rita @ View From My Home

    Glad you liked it! Sort of, anyway, it sounds like 🙂
    Yes, it’s short but full of symbolism and thought-provoking material. It stuck in my brain all these years, and my high school class was a feminist literature class way back in the ’70s, when females had it rougher than they do now. I am so glad for the class and how it opened my eyes to different literature, such as The Handmaidens Tale.

    Good post Trish…and I’m back posting on my blog in the next couple of days after a bit of time off to regroup. Enjoy your weekend!

    • trish

      I really did enjoy it Rita, it gave me a lot to think about and even though it’s short, I know it’s one that will stick with me. I’m really glad I took your recommendation and now it has set me off reading more plays too which is something I hadn’t read since I left school! Have you anymore that books that you remember from that class, I like the feminist literature theme and want to keep reading more in this vein.
      Glad you’ll be back soon, I checked in a few times to see were you around. Hope all is ok!

      • Rita @ View From My Home

        Oh, I wracked my brain to come up with anymore titles, and no luck!

        Only one I remembered wasn’t really a feminist tale, but we read it because it was written by a woman using a male pseudonym, and I believe we discussed why she might have had to do that: Silas Marner by George Eliot.

        Sorry, but I did look online and there are many lists available with this heading if you want to wade through them 🙂 A more modern story that I never read but want to finally get around to is The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Can’t believe I never read it yet. If you want a Victorian setting, The Awakening by Kate Chopin kept appearing on lists. Hope you find something!
        Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up 9/4/15

        • trish

          I read Silnas Marner years ago and I can see how it fitted in so well with your theme. Thanks for taking the time to look it up 🙂 I have read The Colour Purple and I thought it was a hard but interesting read. I’ve not heard of The Awakening but I’ll go check it out now. Thanks again, much appreciated!

    • trish

      It’s an interesting one! And of course being an older classic, it’s in the public domain and so is free on Amazon. Well worth the read.

    • trish

      It’s quick, it’s free and it’s thought provoking. What more do you want! It will probably make you mad though, so be ready for some major chauvinism!

  2. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I can tell you liked this by how fast you read it! I love how you’re really digging classics more and more now! 🙂 I’m starting something new too tomorrow when I go on vacation to Las Vegas ^_^ I don’t know what quite, but my kindle is loaded and ready and I am going to bring one paperback too but probably not a classic. I’m thinking something light and funny maybe the next book by Gail Carriger I have.
    I just got a copy of Lseepy Holly and other works by Stephen Crane which I’ve always wanted to read (I feel like maybe I read it in school but can’t recall — I love the story though!). What ru reading next? I may read the other book I was telling you about by Susan Cooper , over sea, under stone. 😉
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Back To School Reading

  3. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    Okay this isn’t a classic but a contemporary classic: The First Sex by Helen Fisher : check last name spelling! Or of course, the beautiful Simone de Beauvoir wrote Prime of Life and tons of great books, message me if you’re interested! Ah if only you could pop over I’d loan a stack of feminist literature to you from when I took my philosophy of feminism class. 😉
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Back To School Reading

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