· hyperbolic actions so that the message could reach

When the play was performed, sets had to accurately
reflect that of traditional European homes

In order to do this, the box set was developed to
fit a three-dimensional interior

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Three flats formed an open box and acted as the
walls of the house, with the fourth wall removed so that the audience could see
into the house

Furniture, such as rugs, chairs, fixtures and other
décor was selected to decorate the set as a typical house would

Acting styles also changed, becoming less
exaggerated, with softer speaking and predictable, natural movements

To prevent the actors from having to yell and to
improve acoustics and visuals, the cylindrical theaters of the past that led to
hyperbolic actions so that the message could reach those furthest away became
fan-shaped auditoriums

This allowed for less exaggeration and often, in
smaller theaters, actions could be further toned-down

One of Ibsen’s stage directions calls for “a
room cluttered with a bric-a-brac and overstuffed chairs’ to link oppressive
room with the oppressive marriage between Nora and Torvald

·       Through
realism, and theaters reflecting everyday life, the audience is drawn in and
forced to relate messages and themes presented to their society, leading to controversy
as the audience felt their traditional values being challenged as opposed to
the values of a hyperbolic, hypothetic society; it was a direct assault

English handout, https://novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/spd130et/realism.htm,


Loans and Banks

·       Torvald
gets a new job managing a savings bank in 19th century Norway

At this point, the overall number of banks,
especially private banks was increasing

Of the private banks, there were savings and
commercial banks

“The first savings bank, Christiania Sparebank,
was established in 1822, and the first commercial bank, Christiania Bank og
Kreditkasse, in 1848”

Savings banks helped the ordinary people by way of
safe-guarding their money

These banks were not involved in excessive
loans, and were in theory a more safe, constant

They had to send reports the Ministry of Finance,
and later the Inspectorate of Savings Banks as they had to follow regulations
to maintain their constant nature

Typically, small, community-oriented banks

Savings banks had a maximun interest rate for mortgage
loans so they perfrered to deal with other long term loans

Any loans given would involve small, frequent
payments, even over long terms acting as collateral

Commercial banks had limited liability and could
operate as the saw fit, so inverters invested at their own risk

They, while being small in size, extended past single
communities, and gave more short-term loans, often involving collateral

Norges Hypotekbank  was the only state owned bank at the time(1852-1903)
 and mainly dealt with mortgage loans,
especially from farmers

All banks began to loan more after the 1850s,
with savings banks providing the most loans

All of this loaning improved the economy in the
1870s and early  80s but later in the 89s
an economic crisis occurred

Commercial banks began lending more, and became
more successful than savings banks, leading to an increase in the number of commercial
banks (48 in 1895 to 82 in 1900)

The loan Nora takes in ‘A Doll’s House’ is a
long-term loan from a savings bank, explaining the monthly payments she makes
(small sums over a longer period of time)

Torvald, when he becomes manager, will run a
small savings bank, which suits his character, as he abides by regulations as
long as they don’t threaten him

It suits his character to work at a more stable
bank whose loans follow a set formula of repayment so that corruption is

·       http://www.norges-bank.no/globalassets/upload/hms/pdf/hmsi_chapter10.pdf


Christmas Celebration in Norway

·       Family
centred- with many of the same Western values of joy, warmth and festiveness

Christmas workshops bring people together to do
festive activities and enjoy company (more modern but same values)

Baking is also important, and a tradition is to
bake ‘seven sorts’ of pastry

“gingerbread cookies (pepperkaker), ‘good
advice’ waffles (goro), ginger nuts (ingefærnøtter)” are commonly baked

Lille Julaften, or ‘Little Christmas Eve’ occurs
on Dec.23rd and involves a family gathering to prepare for Christmas
eve on the 24th, it is common to eat porridge with an almond hidden
among multiple portions and for the receiver of the almond to get a prize

Fjøsnisse is a gnome-like creature originating
from common folklore and is said to bestow prosperity and luck onto a family if
they please it, often by leaving a bowl of porridge and Christmas dinner
leftovers out

If one offends the fjøsnisse, they could experience

Julaften is Christmas eve, when the main
Christmas celebration occurs

People often play games, carol around the Christmas
tree, open presents and spend time with family

Julebukk occurs between Christmas and New Years,
children and adults carol for mandarins and candy or schnapps respectively

In A Doll’s House, Nora walks out, leaving her
family behind during the Christmas period, contrasting the happy,
family-centered values of a Norwegian Christmas

This juxtaposition makes clear the issues within
Nora and Torvald’s marriage and family, and the ruined Christmas suits the
ruined marriage between the two


A Norwegian Christmas