Nora’s Freedom in The Doll House
Nora is initially introduced as a macaroon-loving, naïve individual constantly trying to please her husband. However, when the audience discovers that she borrowed the funds that allowed her and her husband to travel to Italy for a year in order to save Torvald from certain harm, Nora demonstrates that she is actually a much stronger character than originally portrayed. However, the real problem lies with the way in which she burrowed the money. In order to get the cash, Nora forged her father’s signature. As a result, she is in debt to the man who leant her the money, Nils Krogstad.
Within the context of modern times, Nora’s crime appears almost daring and creative, rather than completely criminal (Egan 67). In comparison, Torvald’s reactions to Nora’s crimes seem almost cruel and unimaginative. When he scolds Nora’s father for a similar failure to secure proper signatures and condemns Nils for doing the same, he appears to be an unsympathetic individual. He scolds people and judges them for their actions without considering why the may have done what they did.
Furthermore, the household in which Nora and Torvald live in is completely patriarchal, again demonstrating Torvald’s limited imagination. He gives Nora very little power and very little credit, when she appears to be much more imaginative than him. Within the house’s walls, all items exist for one purpose: to entertain Torvald. Also, Torvald appears to lack the understanding that other people may be interested in other things, and that there are people on this planet who should be considered within the same class as him.
The play was initially seen as an attempt to express the conflict…
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… Henrick Ibsen: A Biography. Garden City: Doubleday, 1971.
The student may wish to begin the essay with the quote below:
Good grief, can’t you understand? The old man never existed; that was only something I’d dream up time and again whenever I was at my wits’ end for money. But it makes no difference now; the old fossil can go where he pleases for all I care; I don’t need him or his will-because now I’m free. Oh, how lovely to think of that, Kristine! Carefree! To now you’re carefree, utterly carefree; to be able to romp and play with the children, ,and to keep up a beautiful, charming home-everything just the way Torvald likes it! And think, spring is coming, with big blue skies. Maybe we can travel a little then. Maybe I’ll see the ocean again.. Oh yes, it is so marvelous to live and be happy!
–Nora in The Doll House.