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A Comparison of Illusion in The Cherry Orchard and A Doll’s House

Dangers of Illusion in The Cherry Orchard and A Doll’s House

In the plays, The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, and Galileo, by Bertolt Brecht, the protagonists’ beliefs are a combination of reality and illusion that shape the plot of the respective stories. The ability of the characters to reject or accept an illusion, along with the foolish pride that motivated their decision, leads to their personal downfall.

In The Cherry Orchard Gayev and Miss Ranevsky, along with the majority of their family, refuse to believe that their estate is close to bankruptcy. Instead of accepting the reality of their problem, they continue to live their lives under the illusion that they are doing well financially. The family continues with its frivolous ways until there is no money left (the final night they have in the house before it is auctioned, they throw an extravagant party, laughing in the face of impending financial ruin.) Even when Lopakhin attempts to rescue the family with ideas that could lead to some of the estate being retained, they dismiss his ideas under the illusion that the situation is not so desperate that they need to compromise any of their dignity.

Lopakhin: As you know, your cherry orchards are being sold to pay your

debts. The auction is on the twenty second of August. But there’s no need to worry, my dear. You can sleep soundly. There’s a way out. Here’s my plan. Listen carefully, please. Your estate is only about twelve miles from town, and the railway is not very far away. Now all you have to do is break up your cherry orchard and the land along the river into building plots and lease them out for country cottages. You¹ll then have an income …

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2. You have a good thesis statement that introduces a complex discussion.

3. Your organization of the paper is also well developed. However, you seem to begin new paragraphs too frequently. For example, in your discussion of A Doll’s House, you used several paragraphs to discuss the faults of Nora and her husband and then another paragraph for her growth. All of the paragraphs discussing their faults could be condensed into one paragraph.

4. When citing a quote, you do not need to actually write the word “page” it is understood that the numbers are page numbers.

5. Also when quoting, the punctuation of the last sentence should come after the parentheses of the citation and not before.

6. Be careful with verb tenses. If you begin your sentence using the past tense the rest of your sentence should remain in the past tense.

Essay on Lies and Self-realization in A Doll’s House

Lies and Self-realization in A Doll’s House

In Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, the characters willingly exist in a situation of untruth or inadequate truth that conceals conflict. Nora’s independent nature is in contradiction to the tyrannical authority of Torvald. This conflict is concealed by the way they both hide their true selves from society, each other, and ultimately themselves. Just like Nora and Torvald, every character in this play is trapped in a situation of untruth.

“A Doll’s House”, can be misinterpreted as simply an attack on the religious values of Ibsen’s society. While this is certainly an important aspect of the play, it is not, however, Ibsen’s main point. “A Doll’s House” established a method Ibsen would use to convey his views about individuality and the pursuit of social freedom. The characters of “A Doll’s House” display Henrik Ibsen’s belief that although people have a natural longing for freedom, they often do not act upon this desire until a person or event forces them to do so.

Readers can be quick to point out that Nora’s change was gradual and marked by several incidents. A more critical look reveals these gradual changes are actually not changes at all, but small revelations for the reader to see Nora’s true independent nature. These incidents also allow the reader to see this nature has been tucked far under a facade of a happy and simple wife. In the first act, she admits to Christine that she will “dance and dress up and play the fool” to keep Torvald happy (Ibsen). This was Ibsen’s way of telling the reader Nora had a hidden personality that was more serious and controlling. He wants the reader to realize that Nora was not the fool she allows herself to be seen as. …

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…in A Doll’s House is the importance of the individual and the search for self-realization.

Works Cited

Brunsdale, Mitzi. “Herik Ibsen.” Critical Survey of Drama. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press 1986. pg982.

Clurman, Harold. Ibsen. Macmillan, 1977, pg223. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 1982. pg154.

Heiberg, Hans. 1967. Ibsen. A Portrait of the Artist. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami.

Ibsen, Henrik. “A Doll’s House.” Perrine’s Literature. Forth Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998. pp. 967-1023

Shaw, Bernard. “A Doll’s House Again.” The Saturday Review, London, Vol. 83, No. 2168, May 15, 1897: 539-541. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.

Ed. Sharon K. Hall. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 1982. pg.143.

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