An Aid to Understanding but Not True to the Concept

         When I first read Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, I could not really get a feel for why everything was happening. Nora seems so happy through most of the play, and then, out of nowhere, she just leaves. I just could not figure out why she got so upset, when she seemed so happy a page before. Well, I was that lost until I saw the 1973 film production directed by Joseph Losey, starring Jane Fonda as Nora and David Warner as Torvald.

         After viewing the film, I realized everything that was going on inside her head, which I had never really thought about when reading the play. The following week, I reread the play. Everything made perfect sense--the scenery, the costumes, the mind set of the characters, everything.

         Nevertheless, I do not think the Losey adaptation of A Doll's House fit with the vision of the playwright as well as the second version. The second one, directed in 1973 by Patrick Garland and starring Claire Bloom as Nora, appears to have had more in common with Ibsen's concept, character development, and story line despite the lack of a big budget.

         When most playwrights are writing, they have already-envisioned characters acting out the play in their creator's head. The playwright usually has every single facial expression and movement already mapped out. I think that Henrik Ibsen's vision would have been very similar to the Garland adaptation, especially with the way that Claire Bloom portrayed Nora. Perhaps Torvald, played by Anthony Hopkins, would have been a little different, but everything else was perfect.

Alicia Christ

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