The Miracle of A Doll's House


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The Miracle of A Doll's House

 

        In the play A Doll's House, Nora fits in a role of the little

helpless wife whose husband takes care of everything.  During the play, she

keeps a secret from her husband that eventually leads to the destruction of

her marriage.  When the secret surfaces, Nora finds out just what kind of

man she was married to.  Maybe she always knew but now wants something

different in her life.

 

        A few years earlier her husband was terribly sick and needed to get

away for a while, possibly go south.  With no money, he was unable to go.

Nora wanted to do everything she could for her husband to help him get well.

In order to do this she needed to borrow money.  Unfortunately she made

the mistake of borrowing it and forging her father's signature.  This is

the secret that she hides all through the play from her husband.

 

        Nora believes Helmer will try to take the blame for what she has

done.  She thinks he will keep being the man that takes charge and fixes

all problems that may come about.  What she doesn't realize at this point

is that Helmer does not truly care for her the way she has brought herself

to believe throughout the years of their marriage.  Nora tells Dr. Rank, a

family friend: “...You know how deeply, how passionately Torvald is in love

with me.  He would never hesitate for a moment to sacrifice his life for my

sake.”

 

        Later in the play Nora made the same mistake with Kristine Linde as

she did with Dr. Rank.  In the following line Nora expresses  her belief of

what Helmer may do:  “Then you must testify... And I tell you this: nobody

else knew anything, I alone was responsible for the whole thing. Remember

that!”

 

        These are two of the most important lines in the play because they

signify the whole relationship's meaning and underlying imagery.  What Nora

thinks will happen when her husbands finds out is completely opposite of

what really happens.

 

        When Helmer reads the letter and calls out to Nora, she answers

back almost like she was expecting him to come running to save her.  When

she says: “... Let me go! Let me out!...You mustn't try to save me,

Torvald!” , she clearly wants him to try and save her, playing the role of

the damsel in distress.

 

        Nora begins to doubt her husbands faithfulness when she tells him

how much she loved him and he responds with:  “Don't come to me with a lot

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of paltry excuses!”  And he later says: “Stop play-acting! ... Do you

understand what you have done?” She then understands what sort of

relationship they had.  She now begins to think about her place in the home.

Is she fit to be a mother or a wife?  She doesn't think she is at this

point.  She has decided to leave her children and Torvald to ‘search for

herself'.  Of course, this is after Torvald has suddenly forgiven her.

 

        When she leaves she tells Torvald the only way their marriage would

survive would be by a “miracle of miracles”.  Just before walking out she

says: “Both you and I would have to change to the point where...Where we

could make a real marriage of our lives together.”  Torvald then slumps in

a chair with his hands over his face and questions what she meant by

miracle of miracles.

 

        Nora's entire life is based around her husband.  She does what he

says, when he says to do it, and how he says it is to be done.  She tries

to love him with everything she's got.  Only she isn't ‘mature' enough to

give all of herself to someone else. Being passed straight to Torvald from

her father was a huge leap for Nora, and with no training or the least bit

of experience on how to be a good mother or wife, she was almost doomed to

fail. After, she begins to understand for herself the importance of

knowing who she is before she can begin to take care of someone else, she

then truly starts her life over.  That is the true miracle of miracles.

 


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