A Doll's House Sacrifice Analysis

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“A Doll House” by H. Ibsen: Sacrifice as Way of Life Henrik Ibsen paints a sad picture of the sacrificial role of women throughout all social economical classes in his play “A Doll House”. The story is set in the late 19th century and all minor female characters had to overcome adversity to the expense of love, family and self-realization, in order to lead a comfortable life. While the main female protagonist Nora struggles with her increasingly troubled marriage, she soon realizes, she needs to change her life to be happy as the play climaxes. Her journey to self-discovery is achieved by the threat of her past crime and her oppressing husband, Torvald and the society he represents. The minor female characters exemplifying Nora’s ultimate sacrifice.…show more content…
After asking his wife if she understands what she has done Nora answers “[Looking squarely at him, her face hardening] Yes. I am beginning to understand everything” (835). This statement might be the key phrase of Nora’s realization. The double- meaning implies Nora’s understanding of the actual situation as well as her awareness that her marriage, even though it conforms with social expectations, is far from perfect. She now doubts the depth of her love for Torvald and becomes calm with comprehension as she begins to recognize the truth about her marriage. While she expects compassion for her sacrifice, she is none given. Instead of sacrificing anything to help Nora out of her predicament, Torvald is only worried about himself and appearances. It becomes very clear, after the second letter from Krogstad arrives, that her well-being always comes second “I’m saved. Nora, I’m saved! You too, of course” (836). Throughout the conversation with Torvald, Nora finally realizes, she needs to rearrange her life and priorities to be happy. This implies independence and self-awareness. While Nora finally understands the situation, she is in and what she needs to do but Torvald defines her new attitudes as madness “You’re ill, Nora; you’re feverish; I almost think you’re out of your mind” (840). “However, the characterization has been tied to the fact that she is breaking taboos or challenging conventions” (Langås 160). Torvald is still stuck in his fantasy world of how a wife should talk and act per his standard and the society he stands for. “Nora still has no way of knowing that she is not endangering her children with her presence and in the end, she feels impelled to leave, and her decision is less an act of defiance against her husband and society than an attempt to save the lives of her children” (Brooks

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