A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

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Married to a Chauvinist
In A Doll 's House by Henrik Ibsen, Nora lives her life accordingly to society and her husband’s wishes. She displays a decorated version of herself to people around her. Nora appears confident and blissful on the outside, when she is really perplexed and anxious on the inside. Nora places Torvald’s happiness above her own, lives in a state of deception, and makes the decision to break away from her old life of illusion to create her own wonderful thing.
Act I begins with Nora coming home and “cautiously [standing outside] her husband’s door” (4. I). Nora is carefully listening outside of Torvald’s door because she does not wish to disrupt him. Her behavior reveals she walks on eggshells around her husband. Torvald hears Nora is humming outside the door and engages her in conversation just to say “don’t disturb me” (5. I). The first interaction between Nora and Torvald allows the reader to see the Helmer’s family dynamics. Nora is submissive and allows Torvald to dominate her. Nora does not budge when Torvald calls her everything else but her birth given name.
In the play A Doll’s House, Torvald calls Nora multiple names, such as, “little lark” (4. I), “little soul” (9. I), “Miss Sweet Tooth” (10. I), “little woman” (58. I), “little featherbrain” (127. III), “little skylark” (6. I), “little squirrel” (6. I) and “little featherhead” (5. I). Nora conditions herself not to take offense to his nicknames for her. Torvald’s names for Nora illustrate how he demeans her. He views his wife as a small creature who surely would not exist in the world without his assistance. The saddest part about how Torvald treats Nora is she stays and continues to put herself on the back burner.
When Mrs. Linde comes into town t...


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...her. The wonderful thing that Nora craves so badly is respect and love from her husband. She realizes she is married to a chauvinist and her whole life has been a sham.
Nora decides she no longer wants to live a life of misery. In “A New World for Women”, Stephanie Ford says “we might feel that the two main characters are playing a strange kind of game”. Nora views her home as a “playroom” (142. III) where Torvald plays games with her. Nora refuses to be Torvald 's puppet on a string and will not be subjected to his games anymore. She realizes in order to find herself; she needs to detach herself from Torvald and her old life. Nora 's thoughts become clear and realize her happiness should come first. She creates a life of honesty where she can feel good about herself. She has the courage to understand no one else is responsible for the wonderful thing but herself.

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