Portal to Forgiveness: A Tribute to Ibsen's Nora

Vicki Mahaffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay uses Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House to illustrate how forgiveness may be redefined. To forgive is often conflated with forgetting, appeasement, atonement; an individual is perceived as forgiving someone else, thereby canceling out some prior wrong or offense. This essay argues that forgiveness can also be seen as a mode of relation to the self (not the other); it can be a way of neutralizing conflict in order to create a space for self-transformation. The model for such a view is Nora Helmer at the end of Ibsen's play.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-73
Number of pages20
JournalSouth Central Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


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