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Henrik Isben's A Doll's House Essay

2028 words - 8 pages

Henrik Isben?s A Doll?s House is the story of a man and a woman who have been married for eight years but are not really in love. Although at the first of the story we see a typical family, underneath there lies a dark secret. Torvald Helmer, the husband, is a lawyer who has been unsuccessful in the past because he would not accept a shady case. This has put the couple and their children in a great financial struggle and this forces him to turn elsewhere for employment. He ends up working at a local bank, putting an end to the family struggle. At the start of the story we see Nora Helmer, his wife, coming in from town with several small wrapped packages and a Christmas tree. She is a very childish acting woman but on the same note, she is also very deceptive and cunning. Nora has kept a secret from her husband ever since they moved from their last home. Torvald was very sick and Nora was pregnant with their first child. Nora?s father was on his deathbed as well. Torvald?s doctor confided in Nora that if Torvald didn?t move south then he was going to die. Since they hadn?t the money to do so, Nora takes it upon herself to borrow the money, which was not allowed solely by a woman. In order to get the loan she and her father had to sign the papers. Seeing her father?s condition, she forged his signature. She told her husband that the money was a gift from her father so he would not feel indebted to her forever. The money that Nora borrowed is almost paid off at this point and she was excited. Then the story takes a sudden turn. According to Maurice Valency, ?Nora as yet the earnest and innocent child who was sure there could be no harm in forging her father?s signature, provided her motives were good? (253). The man from whom she borrowed the money, Nils Krogstad, is in danger of losing his job at the bank when Torvald takes over and he blackmails Nora into convincing her husband not to fire him. Nora as a character in this story is very complex; she acts childish and naïve to keep her secret, but by the end she is thrown into the depths of maturity in her final decision.

Henrik Ibsen was born to wealthy parents who were suddenly hit by poverty in 1834 when his father?s business failed. When Ibsen left home at the age of 15, he went to Grimstadt where he found work as a pharmacist?s assistant (140). After 6 years, Ibsen went to Oslo (which at that time was Christiana) with hopes of attending the university there. He was not admitted because he could not pass the preliminary exams, but that did not discourage him. Ibsen?s studies lead him to classical history. This was the basis for his 1st drama, Catilina (Catiline) (140). This 1st work continued the properties that later developed into Ibsen?s primary themes: individual importance and self- realization. Two females from this 1st work, Aurelia and Furia, are the two types of female present in most of Ibsen?s dramas. The 1st ?dull and domestic? and the 2nd ?fascinating? and ?potentially...

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