A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen

1327 words - 5 pages

In Henrik Ibsen’s dramatic play A Doll’s House there are many characters that have grown to be adults that they either do not wish to be or that they are expected to be. The character breakdown as the play goes from act to act is apparent. From a woman struggling to be the perfect wife and mother to a husband trying to be perfect and surround himself with people that are likewise we see that it is much harder to put on a mask to be something you are not.
Nora Helmer is a simple woman. She is the mother to young children as well as an adoring wife to her husband Torvald. Nora is described by her husband as a spendthrift, a little featherhead, and a skylark. (Delbanco & Cheuse) These terms are used in a fashion to say that she is flighty, a dainty woman who shops and flits about with no care in the world. Even her friend Christine Linde tells her that she is immature and childish to the realities of the world. This is actually not a fair statement of Nora. She has already put forth a strong attitude when Torvald was ill. She found a way to get the monies needed to ensure that he got well. She may not have gone about it the legal way but she went to whatever lengths needed to ensure that the man she loved could get well. This was a step outside of the expectations of her. She has always been there to do whatever a man expected of her. Her father expected her to be there to take care of him and the household. Her husband took her in his home and expected the same of her. She was never able to form her own person as someone else was always there telling her who to be and how to be it. Nora wants to be taken seriously and to learn how to be strong for herself. She realizes that she has been able to get this loan and has been paying it off for some time all on her own. She did not have to go to Torvald to get his help. She is fearful of his finding out that she did this. I believe this is more because she stepped out of line of what was expected of her more than the fact that she borrowed so much money. She was not who she was expected to be in that moment but the more she thinks of it the more she realizes that she can do things on her own. “With her need for safety and security fulfilled by the promise of Torvald's new job, Nora now clearly seeks something greater than security: self-worth.” (Brunnemer, 2009). She needs to find her own identity instead of the one that has been created for her.
Torvald Helmer is a quiet man. “Torvald Helmer passes judgment freely, and he expects his strict moral principles to be upheld by his wife, his friends, and his employees.” (Haller) Torvald is a busy man who occupies his time with his job. He feels it is important to put your best foot forward and make a name for yourself. This is the main reason why he is aware of who he keeps company with and how everyone acts and looks. Appearances mean a lot to him as well as attitude. He does not mind Doctor Rank coming by daily as he has a good reputation and is good...

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