Literary Quotations
Browse quotes by source | Browse quotes by author


A Doll's House:

There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt.

It's a sweet little bird, but it gets through a terrible amount of money. You wouldn't believe how much it costs a man when he's got a little song-bird like you!

What's to become of the morally sound? Left out in the cold, I suppose. We must heal the sick.

Yes -- some day, perhaps, after many years, when I am no longer as pretty as I am now. Don't laugh at me! I mean, of course, when Torvald is no longer as devoted to me as he is now; when my dancing and dressing-up and reciting have palled on him then it may be a good thing to have something in reserve.

Your squirrel would run about and do all her tricks if you would be nice, and do as she wants.

Many a man can save himself if he admits he's done wrong and takes his punishment.

Hasn't a daughter the right to protect her dying father from worry and anxiety? Hasn't a wife the right to save her husband's life? I don't know much about the law, but I'm quite certain that it must say somewhere that things like that are allowed.

An atmosphere of lies like that infects and poisons the whole life of a home. In a house like that, every breath that the children take is filled with the germs of evil.

It is no use lying to one's self.

You don't get nothing for nothing in this life.

When you've sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don't do it a second time.

The black, cold, icy water. Down and down, without end -- if it would only end.

From this moment happiness is not the question; all that concerns us is to save the remains, the fragments, the appearance.

I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you wanted it like that. You and father have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life. Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. That is what our marriage has been, Torvald.

If I'm ever to reach any understanding of myself and the things around me, I must learn to stand alone. That's why I can't stay here with you any longer.

I have another duty equally sacred ... my duty to myself.

You don't talk or think like the man I could bind myself to. When your first panic was over -- not about what threatened me, but about what might happen to you -- and when there was no more danger, then, as far as you were concerned, it was just as if nothing had happened at all. I was simply your little songbird, your doll, and from now on you would handle it more gently than ever because it was so delicate and fragile. At that moment, Torvald, I realized that for eight years I'd been living her with a strange man and that I'd borne him three children. Oh, I can't bear to think of it -- I could tear myself to little pieces!

More Henrik Ibsen Quotes