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Nora's Decision To Leave In A Doll's House

1469 words - 6 pages

Many women in modern society make life altering decisions on a daily basis. Women today have prestigious and powerful careers unlike in earlier eras. It is more common for women to be full time employees than homemakers. In 1879, when Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll's House, there was great controversy over the out come of the play. Nora’s walking out on her husband and children was appalling to many audiences centuries ago. Divorce was unspoken, and a very uncommon occurrence. As years go by, society’s opinions on family situations change. No longer do women have a “housewife” reputation to live by and there are all types of family situations. After many years of emotional neglect, and overwhelming control, Nora finds herself leaving her family. Today, it could be said that Nora’s decision is very rational and well overdue.
Nora is the beloved, adored wife of Torvald Helmer. He is well respected, and has just received a promotion to the bank manager. Torvald also obtains high moral standards but he is very controlling and materialistic. During the first scene the couple is discussing the issue of borrowing money. Torvald says to Nora "…you know what I think about that. No debts! Never borrow! Something of freedom’s lost-and something of beauty, too- from a home that’s founded on borrowings and debt. We’ve made a brave stand up to now, the two of us, and we’ll go right on like that the little way we have to."
Nora then replies almost unconsciously, “Yes, whatever you say, Torvald.” It is clear that Nora could not even image at this point in the play to stick up for her thoughts, and opinions.
Nora loves her husband very much, even to the point of idolizing him. As she first enters the home with the Christmas packages, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out some macaroons. Then hearing her husband, she quickly puts them back, and wipes her mouth. Obviously, Nora has been scolded for eating them before as is evident by her hiding the cookies. This appears to be the first hint of Nora making a stand for herself and doing something because she wants to. Torvald later says to Nora “…when Rank comes, just tell him where he can find me.” Then Nora disregards her husband and tells Dr Rank that he “mustn’t go in to see Torvald yet.” This is the second time Nora is seen as defying her husbands’ commands. For so long she has been living up to the standards of her husband. She has been doing what was expected of her.
Nora is called a number of names by Torvald throughout the play. These include “little woman”, “little person”, “little songbird”, “little featherhead”, “little skylark”, “squirrel”, and “lark”. Torvald seems to always use the term "little" before the names he calls Nora. These are all usually preceded by Torvald stating "my", which emphasizes Torvald's belief that Nora is his. Torvald's names for Nora show that he does not see her as an equal by any means. Nora is a play doll and at times an appealing and exotic pet...

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