A Doll House Character Analysis

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A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen tells the story of a woman Nora Hemler as she tries to hide her “secret betrayal” from her husband, Torvald Hemler. This story according to Ibsen is based on a true story which he calls a “modern tragedy” and is set in the nineteenth century, in a highly patriarchal and Christian society when women were treated almost as children. They could not vote, nor handle financial matters; a woman’s duty was to marry, take the husband’s name, and like her children; should be seen not heard. Nora as the protagonist was the opposite. She is an impulsive, happy, and carefree woman, who tends to act on a whim, as can be seen from a conversation with husband, when he reprimands her that a home should not be founded on borrowing…show more content…
Though she is not aware of trying to create a perfect home like a doll house, her greed pushes her to act on a whim and borrow money from Mr. Krogstad to save her husband, whom she lies to that her father provided the money. She may have taken the decision out of love to save her husband’s pride, but the outcome was bound to be horrendous. She is portrayed as an independent woman, who however was inexperienced in the ways of the world, judging by how she was so quick in her judgment of trusting Kristina with her “secret”. While she may be trusting with Kristina, the same could not be said of her relationship with her husband and when she finds herself in a dilemma of facing the truth with him or leaving her marriage, she becomes withdrawn and edgy as the urge to tell the truth weighs down heavily on her. She not only borrows money, she lies and forges her father’s signature, because she knew that the loan would not be given to her without any male surety. In the end, she is torn between leaving her kids and starting an independent life and according to Daniel J. Brooks, “our social values, as in Ibsen’s time, teach us that no true mother leavers her…show more content…
He spends a lot of time in his study and is known to have only one friend-Dr. Rank. He seems stiff, and hardly interacts with his children. Whilst he is the financial guardian of his family, he seems himself as their personal guardian. He is in love with his wife even though he constantly berates and speaks to her like a child, in a demeaning tone, but she does not seem to mind. He constantly reminds her that she is the daughter of her father saying, “You’re an odd little one. Exactly the way your father was. You’re never at a loss for scaring up money; but the moment you have it, it runs right out through your fingers; you never know what you’ve done with it. Well, one takes you as you are. It’s deep in your blood…”(1.802) In the play, he had just gotten a new job as the manager in a bank, and constantly berates his wife. He harbors the deep secret that his wife may have gotten her philandering ways from her father. He is afraid that she may have caught the moral disease from her father. However, according to Paul Rosefeldt, “Torvald Hemler is another example of a failed father. He has little to do with his children. …he states that the place is only fit for a mother. When Nora’s crime is revealed, he gives in to Krogstad’s demands, making him even more hypocritical than Krogstad. He becomes a father of lies and disguise, polluting his own children” (85 and when hit
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