The Unrecognized Dimensions Of Nora Essay

1704 words - 7 pages

In Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll House, Ibsen tells a story of a wife and mother who not only has been wronged by society, but by her beloved father and husband because of her gender. Nora left her father’s house as a naïve daughter only to be passed to the hands of her husband forcing her to be naïve wife and mother, or so her husband thinks. When Nora’s husband, Torvald becomes deathly ill, she takes matters into her own hands and illegally is granted a loan that will give her the means to save her husband’s life. Her well guarded secret is later is used against her, to exort Torvald, who was clueless that his wife was or could be anything more than he made her. However, Nora has many unrecognized dimensions “Besides being lovable, Nora is selfish, frivolous, seductive, unprincipled, and deceitful” (Rosenberg and Templeton 894). Nora is a dynamic character because her father and her husband treat her as a child and do not allow her to have her own thoughts and opinions, as the play progresses she breaks free from the chains of her gender expectation to explore the world around her.
Upon the first glance of Torvald and Nora’s relationship, Nora is returning from a day of Christmas shopping. She is acknowledged by her husband’s greetings of belittling pet names that he uses in an inconspicuous thus unnoticed form of verbal oppression and a verbal stake to claim her as his property “But if Helmer considers Nora his property, as he apparently does, Nora encourages him to do so. To him, she calls herself his little squirrel and his lark” (Dukore 121). These actions are not Nora’s fault, it appears Nora does not fight his degrading pet names because she knows no difference and also it benefits her in the ability to manipulate Torvald who remains in the dark about who she actually is. In doing so Torvald believes that his wife is dependent on him, since according to Templeton he has used the pet names “… to underscore her inability to understand the ethical issues faced by human beings” (30). Their relationship is better related to a parent child relationship not a husband and wife relationship. As the play develops Nora becomes exposed for her true self, and not her reputation given to her by the dominate males in her life.
In an attempt to achieve total dependence on Torvald, he chastises Nora about spending money on gifts for the up in coming Christmas holiday. As his personal standard operating procedure he tortures his wife about money until she begs him to take a temporary loan until his promotion is fully instated so that she may continue to shop. Torvald uses this opportunity to further chastise her about being a woman and that she could never possibly understand the facts about currency (Ibsen 800). Her appétit for an unlimited bank account makes it easy to force Nora to be dominated. By the end of his speech, Nora is able to persuade a little extra spending money, making him feel superior to her, and her feeling that she can charm anything...

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