Essay on Henrik Ibsen ‘s A Doll ‘s House

In his play, A Doll ‘s House, Henrik Ibsen develops the character of Torvald’s wife, named Nora. Nora struggles to define her individuality as she seems to play two different characters. Partly living as Torvald ‘s perfect wife, while also living day by day to attempting to conceal a big secret from her husband that could potentially destroy his business. While trapped within Nora ‘s degrading marriage that consists of many animal names, secretly, her character develops into determined and intelligent women. It is in this secret, that Nora recognizes she must break away from her marriage and follow her dreams of being a strong independent woman. 

    From the very beginning, Nora appears to leave a very negative impression amongst the audience. Nora seems to be using her husband, Torvald, just for the sake of his money. When Torvald returns home and asks Nora what she would like for Christmas, she replies that she would love it if he just gifted her money. She explains that she would much rather just wrap up her own gift “in beautiful guilt paper and hang it on the Christmas tree” (Ibsen Act 1). Nora ‘s character conveys that she is greedy and wants to carelessly spend away all of her husbands ‘ hard earned money. Surprisingly, Torvald approaches Nora in a very childish manner when he responds to Nora. Torvald replies, “my little skylark must not droop her wings. What is this! Is my little squirrel out of temper” (Ibsen Act 1). Torvald dehumanizes Nora by constantly referring Nora with pet names. Rather than treating his wife like a human, he treats her as though she is a prized possession in his fantasy world. Nora even describes her daily tasks in the household as “tricks” (Ibsen Act 1). By implying that her household chores are…

… middle of paper …

…s been sculpted into his idea of the perfect wife, or doll. Understanding this barrier from society, Nora recognizes that she is a strong-willed woman who is driven and will achieve her aspirations. 

In the end, Nora decides to rebel against societal standards and seek her own independence by leaving her husband. She reveals that she is a strong-willed woman who is determined to achieve her ambitions. Ibsen used Nora ‘s character to demonstrate that women are just as equal as men and they are not merely just an object in the doll house. From the surface, the audience is able to only appreciate Nora for her beauty and despise her for her greediness. However, as we uncover Nora ‘s motivations, we able to appreciate her motives. Finally working up the confidence, Nora breaks free from her controlling husband and escapes the dollhouse to pursue her own place in society. 

Leave a Comment