Marital Lessons from A Doll’s House
Divorce has become widely accepted throughout the world. In today’s world, the violent shredding of a family is shrugged off like the daily weather. The Norwegian play A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, is a prime example of a marriage that didn’t work. The marriage of Torvald and Nora Helmer had many problems because the husband and wife couldn’t discover the secrets of marital bliss. To keep a marriage alive and growing it must hold true to four qualities: love, communication, trust and loyalty, and perseverance. With the incorporation of these qualities any marriage would work.
Without love a relationship would probably not even begin. Two people meet, a friendship forms, and soon a romance blossoms. Though the basis for Nora and Torvald’s relationship appeared to be centered around love, the needed balance was not obtained. Torvald didn’t really love Nora; to him she was just another child to mind. He said, ‘And I wouldn’t want you to be any different from what you are-just my sweet little song bird. But now I come to think of it, you look rather-rather-how shall I put it? -rather as if you’ve been up to mischief today’ ( 151). Calling his wife names such as ‘skylark,’ ‘squirrel,’ and ‘spendthrift,’ Torvald does not love his wife with the respect and sensitivity a man should. The main area where Torvald showed his lack of love for Nora was in the way he managed his house. Torvald was the owner of what he believed to be a perfect doll house. This doll house was first controlled by Nora’s domineering father, and once Nora entered marriage, the titles and deeds to this doll house were handed over to Torvald. Torvald manipulated Nora, and then the children through her according to his wants, sure that he could never lose control over his precious doll house. This lack of love and imperious attitude would eventually ruin their marriage. Nora was the only one of the two partners who showed love for the other in this play. Going against all the odds a woman faced in the late nineteenth century, Nora went behind her husband’s back, borrowed a large sum of money, forged her father’s signature, and went on to pay it off with hopes of Torvald never hearing of it. She refused to be a doll, and would alternate personalities between ‘Torvald’s little skylark,’ and ‘Nora the intelligent and strong woman.