ADH Pre-reading inquiry task

A Doll’s House

Pre-reading inquiry task


Complete the answers to Topics 1-5 in one document and post it to your learner portfolio padlet.


Topic 1: Henrik Ibsen

– Find an image of Ibsen.


– Find some information about his upbringing and education.

Norwegian playwright and theatre director


– Describe the three phases of his dramatic works.

“The productive life of Ibsen is conveniently divided into three periods: the first ending in 1877 with the successful appearance of The Pillars of Society; the second covering the years in which he wrote most of the dramas of protest against social conditions, such as Ghosts; and the third marked by the symbolic plays”



– Explain why he is considered the pioneer of modern drama.

Ibsen rose to prominence in large part because of his refusal to follow the rules of theatre at the time.


– Explain two literary elements in which he is known to excel and the major theme of most of his plays.

Peer Gynt (1867) A Doll’s House (1879) Ghosts (1881) An Enemy of the People (1882) The Wild Duck (1884) Rosmersholm (1886) Hedda Gabler (1890)


Topic 2: Norway

– Find and include a map of Norway and its location in Europe.



– Describe Norway’s climate.

“Western Norway has a marine climate, with comparatively cool summers, mild winters, and nearly 90 inches (2,250 mm) of mean annual precipitation. Eastern Norway, sheltered by the mountains, has an inland climate with warm summers, cold winters, and less than 30 inches (760 mm) of mean annual precipitation.”



– Briefly explain Norway’s government and economy.

Parliamentary system, unitary state, constitutional monarchy

Socialist and capitalist mixed economy


– Include information about Norway’s traditional culture.

“Norwegians tend to have a strong sense of history and civic engagement and on special occasions, many Norwegians wearing traditional clothing, or bunad. In Norwegian culture, some of the most important values are tolerance, respect and equality.”,are%20tolerance%2C%20respect%20and%20equality.




Topic 3: Gender Roles and Social Classes in the Victorian Era

– List the years included in the Victorian Era.

“An Introduction to Victorian England (1837–1901) Queen Victoria ruled Britain for over 60 years. During this long reign, the country acquired unprecedented power and wealth.”,acquired%20unprecedented%20power%20and%20wealth.


– Discuss whether society was patriarchal or matriarchal and why.

Matriarchal – women led most of the society.


– Describe the characteristics of the “ideal woman.”

Honest, perfect


– Explain the societal expectations of each of the following people:

– upper-middle-class woman and man: elegant, rich, well educated

– working-class woman and man: work, do all the jobs,

– a suffragette: honest, fair, justice>


– Briefly explain how the nineteenth-century feminist movement differs from modern feminism.

19th century only started feminist movements and the voting system changed for women.


Topic 4: Marriage in the Victorian Era

– Explain whether or not it was a romantic bond or economic institution and why.

Economic institution, “Marriage was seen to encourage social stability and moral behaviour, and allowed secure transfer of property within a family.”


– Describe the expectations and responsibilities of women and men.

Women: family orientated,

Men: to make money


– Find and include any publications with instructions on how to be a good wife or husband.


– Explain if the structure or responsibilities within marriage differed according to social class and how.

Working partnership



Topic 5: Realism

– Define the term and describe the characteristics of “theatrical realism.”

Theatrical realism is the focus on real life. Reflects normal life.


– Briefly describe some nineteenth-century social, economic, and political influences that may have led to the birth of theatrical realism/modern theater.

Theater improvements in the second half of the 19th century encouraged middle – and upper-class audiences to attend plays, and crowds became quieter, more refined, and less likely to disrupt performances.

– List the theatrical elements of theatrical realism.

“The décor, the costumes, language, subject matter (social problems –poverty, social ills), relationships etc., have to be true reflections of contemporary life. ”,represent%20their%20own%20contemporary%20society.


– Include some titles and photos from plays that are considered “realist.”



Include your list of resources in case you have to go back and refer to them again.

Read the following articles:


A Doll’s House Introduction”


“Why A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsent is more relevant than ever”


“How Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Helped Invent Feminism a Century Ago”


“The Marrying Kind”