Writing a Research Paper (A Doll’s House)
Here is the link to the video… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZo6gL3CwrE&t=5s
Choose a Topic
* Find a topic that interests you.
* Keep your purpose and audience in mind.
* Develop a thesis to support with research.
* Remember that the ideal research paper is based on your own observations and interpretations of a literary text.
Begin Your Research
Evaluate Your Sources
Organize Your Research
* Keep careful track of the sources of quotations and paraphrases.
* Keep track of the sources of ideas and concepts.
* Make notes of your own thoughts and reactions to your research.
Refine Your Thesis
Build and Organize Your Literary Argument
* Focus on points that prove your thesis.
* Present them in the order that best makes your argument.
* A rough outline can help you to determine that order.
* Make sure one point leads logically to the next.
Assignment: Brainstorm for Essay 2 (research paper) + Start your first draft of Essay 2. (Minimum length: 6 pages, plus a Works Cited page.) Keep in mind: Choose an aspect of the play that is interesting to YOU and that involves an IDEA that you can research.You must find and utilize at least one ACADEMIC source (from a peer-reviewed academic journal). You are not writing a book report. You are formulating an IDEA that you can research and analyze. So, for instance, “Nora is delusional” or “Helmer’s misogyny is emblematic of social patriarchy that still pervades the modern world” are suitable ideas. [Of course, the opposite views would also be fine.] Also note: your research source does not have to be literary. It can be any source that supports your thesis (or even one that argues against it)!
Writing about a Play
* Read the whole play, not just the dialogue but also everything in italics, including stage directions and descriptions of settings.
* The meaning of a scene, or even of an entire play, may depend on the tone of voice in which an actor is supposed to deliver a significant line.
* At the end of A Doll’s House, for example, we need to pay attention to how Helmer’s last line is spoken (“A hope flashes across his mind”) if we are to understand that Nora ignores his last desperate hope for reconciliation when she slams the door emphatically.
* The meaning of a line may depend on the actions described in the stage directions. If Nora did not leave the house or slam the door, but hesitated at Helmer’s last line, the meaning of the play would be very different.
* A whole play is too much to cover in an ordinary explication, a line-by-line unfolding of meaning in a literary work. In drama, explication is best suited to brief passages—a key soliloquy, for example, or a moment of dialogue that lays bare the play’s theme.
* Closely examining a critical moment in a play can shed light on the play in its entirety. To be successful, an explication needs to concentrate on a brief passage, probably not much more than 20 lines long.
* A separation of a literary work into elements, analysis is a very useful method for writing about drama. To write an analysis, choose a single element in a play—for example, a theme like “the unreliability of appearances” in A Doll’s House.
* Plays certainly offer many elements for analysis, including:
* Character Development
* Social Significance
* Literary Merit
Comparison and Contrast
* The method of comparison and contrast involves setting two plays side by side and pointing out their similarities and differences.
* Because plays are complicated entities, you need to choose a narrow focus, or you will find yourself overwhelmed. A profound topic (“The Self-Deception of Othello and Oedipus”) might do for a 300-page dissertation, but an essay of 1,000 words could never do it justice.
* A large but finite topic—say, attitudes toward marriage in A Doll’s House and Trifles—would suit a long term paper.
* To apply this method to a shorter essay, you might compare and contrast a certain aspect of personality of two characters within the same play—for example, Willy’s and Biff’s illusions in Death of a Salesman.
One helpful way to begin is to read over all of the responses you have already written about the play. There may be one answer that seems particularly well-developed and stimulates your interest. You have my permission to use what you have already written and incorporate it into your essay. That may help to get you started!
Here are the responses for (Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3)
A Doll House Act 1
Helmer is a serious, responsible man that is proud to be the head of the family. He cares for his wife and thinks that she is to frail to fend herself. He admires being financially stable and therefore hates being in debt. He worries about his wife’s health and her teeth, and that is why he wants to make sure he does not overdo macaroons. On the other hand, Nora is admirable, romantic, happy, smart, and even empathetic. She makes a good wife who is bold and someone who loves her husband. Their marriage is stable, united, and happy.
The moment I understand why it is called A Doll House is that moment when Nora explains that she has been a doll to her father as a child and used to play a lot with her and when she marries Torvald, everything changes.
When Nora wants independence to form her roles as mother and wife, in contrast, Mrs. Linde wants what Nora is refusing. She wants to have a family that she will have people depending on her, and the independence she has does not fulfill her.
When he appears on the stage for the first time, his appearance makes Nora uncomfortable, and in a strained whisper, she asks him why he has come to see her husband. On the other hand, Dr. Rank calls Krogstad as a morally diseased meaning that, indeed, he is a menace.
The illegal deed that Nora is guilty is a forgery, whereby she has signed her father’s signature to a loan document even the father passed away. She justifies that she needed to do it to saver her husband because she loved him.
The problem that Nora encounter at the end of ACT 1 is the problem of not wanting to see her children because she does not want to poison them like Torvald.
A Doll House Act II
Thinking of the Christmas tree in such a way and understanding how extravagant it is bringing some odd feelings about. It suggests that it is potentially wonderful and will change into a worse and bitter dysfunctional season.
When Nora gets the guts to bring the subject to Mr. Helmer regarding Krogstads maintaining the position at the bank, Mr. Helmer feels this as an insult and decides not to have anything else that deals with Krogstad and therefore gives him a dismissal notice. It is at this point that things get worse and difficult to manage because she knew that the only way she could save herself was through the husband.
She flings herself into the wild tarantella to try and distract Mr. Helmer from getting the mail and then find Krogstad’s letter.
A Doll’s House, Act III
Mrs. Linde pledges herself to Krogstad for the sake of her brothers and mother and regrets for having ignored her and therefore pledges to take care of him and his children.
The announcement of Dr. Rank’s death takes a significant toll on them, and it saddens them because he was their closest friend and, at the same time, a confidant.
Helmer is not pleased and is ashamed of Nora’s act. He blames his father since he never really cared for her and thought that she was a terrible person. Helmer’s comments show that the character does not matter, but the people’s perception does matter.
When Helmer realizes that Krogstad has sent them a note, he becomes furious and tries not to any of the information reach the people, and it seems that he would do anything to save his fate.
The character of Nora develops from a loving wife to a naughty woman who works things around to get whatever she wants.
The slamming of the door is symbolic in that she closes an old chapter of her life and takes upon a new one.
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