In a world where so much is based on a man’s worth and word, every day is a test. Ibsen’s spotlight on everyday matters gives way to a test of fortitude; marriage, love, life and how the couple between them performs this daily dance. Torvald’s happiness is dependent on order; “There can be no freedom or beauty about a home ... that depends on borrowing and debt,” (Act I ?) his spoken words, borrowing and debt, are easily replaced with ‘not bending to my will’ without change to the meaning. Torvald carries his own set of secrets; ideal home, wife, mother, and a clean, above board unapproachable man. Nora fits his minds play as a doll, to place her where he wishes and manipulate her with playful words; “my squirrel”, “my little lark”, and “my little spendthrift” which are meant to keep her in place as the obedient wife. Unknowingly, Nora is playing along with the pet names since she has her own agenda; her own little secrets.
Ibsen displays Nora as a space cadet and within each act leaves clues to her true depth. But the constant bantering between Nora and Torvald leave the audience unaware of the actual meanings of these secrets and lies. Demonstrations of marriage’s joint and mutual secrets are seen with mo...
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... she keeps Torvald from finding out her biggest secret, she knowingly continues to play the role of Nora the doll; helpless without direction from the puppet master.
“[S]he had made a success – she had made a tremendous success.” (Act? ?) Little did Torvald know while speaking, those words, the true meaning was yet to be seen. Ibsen hints, not so invisible anymore, double meanings and a mystery within the enigma. Expectation of certain behaviors of women during this era left few choices for them; upheaval was not tolerated and possessing individuality, isolated from their husband left them with little action. This is best communicated when Nora and Torvald, sit as equals, having their first real conversation. Her secrets, the ones she told others, left Ibsen audience to believe this was the story. In reality Nora’s true lies, lays in those she kept telling herself.
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