Happiness Through Self Realization : Ibsen ‘s Play A Doll ‘s House Essay

Happiness through Self-Realization

In Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House we encounter the young and beautiful Nora on Christmas Eve. Nora Helmer seems to be a playful and affectionate young woman full of life and zeal. As the play progresses, we learn that Nora is not just a “silly girl” (Ibsen) as Torvald refers to her. She learns of the business world related to debt that she acquired by taking out a loan in order to save her beloved Torvalds life. Although Krostad’s blackmail does not change Nora’s whimsical nature it opens her eyes to her underappreciated potential. “I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald,” (Find diff quote perhaps?) she exclaims in her confrontation with Torvald. She realizes that she has been putting on a facade for him throughout their marriage. Acting like someone she is not in order to fill the role that her father, Torvald and society expected her to have. It is when Torvald learns of Nora’s deception and forgery that we witness Nora’s awakening. Although Nora shows that she is not completely unaware of her true personality as she defies Torvald by eating the macaroons that he forbid and lying to him about it, her need for self-fulfillment is eventually realized when she decides to walk out on her children and husband in order to find her own independence in the world.

Nora’s transaction with the porter at the start of the play immediately puts the focus on issues of money. This becomes one of the main driving forces of Ibsen’s play. (Quote from Torvald and the money). It immediately distinguishes the differences in gender roles and morals in Norway during the late 1800’s. While Nora is willing to give the porter twice what is owed, we assume she is full of holiday spirit; Torvald has a much more sens…

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…irety of her life, she herself is still very childlike and needs to gain adult experience before she care care for her own children. Nora tells Torvald that she is leaving him and that it is her “sacred duty” to herself to peruse her own ambitions in life. Where Nora decides that she will find happiness by leaving Torvald and discovering herself on her own, Mrs. Linde begins to fulfill herself by caring for the man she was truly in love with. Ibsen’s use of Mrs. Linde as a contrast for Nora shows us that her actions are not the only solution for women who feel trapped by the society they live in. Mrs. Linde who had sacrificed her life in order to care for her mother and brothers will finally find happiness in being able to choose the partner she wants. However, Nora finds she will be happiest if she breaks free of Torvalds dependence and finds dependence in herself.

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