Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

What comes to mind when the word morals is said? Whose morals should be followed, individual or group? In A Doll House, Ibsen portrays the protagonist, Nora, to follow the morals of her husband, Torvald. Four key aspects that help Nora decide to change her mind and make a decision to leave Torvald. These include the constant change of nicknames, the questioning of her own independence, the questioning of Torvald’s love, and the realization that Torvald loves his reputation more then herself. As a result, Nora sets out to find her own individuality and moral beliefs.

When it comes to the use of nicknames, the tone of voice is an indication of how a person feels about another. As the story begins, we find Nora and Torvald in somewhat of a sarcastic yet loving conversation involving nicknames and money. Nora has just returned from Christmas shopping when Torvald asks, “Is that my squirrel rummaging around? (Kirszner, 1186) He then goes on to say, “Has the little spendthrift been out throwing money around again? 1186). I believe that the first key aspect of Nora deciding to leave is Torvalds constant change of nicknames towards her. He appears to have a hard time recognizing what Nora resembles to him: a greedy money spender, a beautiful songbird, or a pest rummaging around. Nicknames can be used in a good and a bad way. If said in a sarcastic way the interpretation can be taken incorrectly and leave the person feeling hurt. However, if it is said in a calm and normal voice the person can feel the sincerity and recognizes that it is meant out of love.

As the story goes on, Nora’s friend, Mrs. Linde arrives and Nora begins to question her own independence. Mrs. Linde’s husband has died and she has come asking f…

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… she was not happy with the person she had become and wanted to change.

In the end the morals we should follow is not the group but our own. Nora found that she was not independent because she followed the morals of the group or those of her husband. Nora found her independence after four key aspects came to enlighten her; constant change of nicknames, constant questioning of her own independence as she knew it, Torvald’s true love of his reputation, and Torvald’s true loveless ness of her. In the end after countless reminding of her non-independence and the fear of scandalizing Torvalds reputation she realized ones own morals lead to ones own individualism.

Work Cited:

Ibsen, Hendrick. A Doll House. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Third Edition. Eds. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1997. 146 – 150

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