Examples Of Narcissism In A Doll House

Unravelling In this world there are people who feel that their only duty is to themselves and have an excessive interest in this; we call them selfish or narcissistic. In the play A Doll House written by Henrik Ibsen, the main character Nora Helmer a normal housewife of the nineteenth century goes through a series of psychological and emotional realizations as well as a few unfortunate events. At the end of this process she decides to leave her home, her husband, and her children in order to go out into the world to discover who she really is. Now this isn’t shocking in the twenty-first century as wives and mothers walking out on their families has become a sadly common occurrence. However, when the play was written it sparked a great deal…show more content…
However, the characteristics of a narcissist, a grandiose sense of importance and uniqueness, exhibitionist, entitlement –the list goes on- do not fit Nora’s personality throughout the entirety of the play though they do fit certain scenes. A grandiose sense of importance and uniqueness can be argued for Nora in the beginning of the play when she reunites with a friend she hasn’t seen in many years. Instead of allowing the friend to talk Nora rhapsodizes about her ideal life with her husband and children all while knowing about the hardship her friend has faced in recent years (Ibsen, 1731). Although this is a selfish thing to do to a friend; Nora is a secretive person afraid of allowing people to get close enough to see under the mask she wears every…show more content…
They often lack empathy for others and often exploit them (Ibsen, “A Psychoanalytic Reading” 1789). Nora may use certain characters in the play for her own ends but she never truly expects them to do these things for nothing. For example, she borrows money from Krogstad (a former lawyer turned bank employee) before the play begins. While she could have used her husband to pay the debts she does odd jobs and sewing and takes money from her own allowance to pay off the loan in installments. She does this secretly so her husband does not find out (being a perfectionist and upstanding citizen he does not approve of being in debt). While the play often shows the contrast between Nora’s life and Krogstad’s and Nora’s apparent lack of empathy towards Krogstad she does actually empathize with him at times. In Act III Nora meets with Krogstad and discusses her options, few and far between though they were. Though neither of them name it, suicide is discussed and quickly shot down by Krogstad who had found himself in similar position to hers once (Ibsen, 1757). This marks one of the many occasions where Nora sees someone outside of her own troubles. If the moment was a little brief that’s okay, narcissists tend to never see pain in others because they feel their pain is greater. Nora recognizes the pain in Krogstad even if she’s a little overwhelmed with her own troubles at the moment. She recognizes her

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