These prompts can be used for in-class discussion, exploratory free-writing, or reflection homework before or after reading the play.
Personal Response Prompt
For many people, the desire to make our loved ones happy can affect our choices. Consider a time when you chose to make someone happy with your actions. What was the situation? What motivated your choices? What was the outcome?
Teaching Suggestion: This Personal Response Prompt links to the Post-Reading Analysis. In exploring the emotions and motivations involved with prioritizing other’s happiness over their own, students establish a foundation from which to later consider the question of self-sacrifice in the play.
Consider how Nora interacts with her husband in the play. Why is she concerned with pleasing Torvald? Consider situations in which you aim to prioritize others’ happiness and well-being. Are Nora’s reasons for wanting to make others happy similar to yours? In what way(s)? Explain.
Teaching Suggestion: This question encourages students to empathize with Nora and better understand her desire to please her husband. Your discussion might extend to include the notion of personal fulfillment resulting from our sacrifices for others; how important is that sense of fulfillment? What emotions might erupt if that fulfillment never evolves?