Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

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Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

In his play, 'A Doll?s House,' Henrik Ibsen shows a marriage built only on appearances, and not love. Both Nora the wife, and Torvald the husband, pretend they are in love throughout the story. However, love should be patient and kind, and their love is anything but that. Nora treats her husband as a father figure. Her feelings towards Torvald are more about dependence than love. Torvald treats Nora like a child or a pet. He gets very angry and frustrated with Nora, and he does not truly love her. True love is perfect, not angry, controlling, and dependent as Nora and Torvald are to each other.

Throughout the story, Torvald is constantly angry with Nora. He also tries to control everything she does. At the beginning of the story, Torvald accuses Nora of eating sweets. He says to her, ' Surely my sweet tooth hasn't been running riot in town today has she?'(Ibsen 874). He continues to pester her after she denies it several times. Later on Nora tells Kristine, ??. Torvald had forbidden them. You see, he?s worried they?ll ruin my teeth?(Ibsen 883). If Torvald really loved Nora, he would not care about petty things like that. If he truly loved her, he would not care if her teeth were ruined. He likes Nora for her looks and beauty, not her personality or character. Not only is he controlling of Nora, but also very angry towards her. When he finds out about her taking out a loan to save his life, he explodes on her. Torvald says to her, ? Oh what an awful awakening! In all these eight years- she who was my pride and joy ? a hypocrite, a liar ? Worse, worse ? a criminal?(Ibsen 916). Torvald does not truly love Nora if he can speak to her that way. Even after he say...

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...t based on true love.

Bibliography:

Works Cited

Gosse, Edmund. ?Ibsen?s Social Dramas.? The Fortnightly Review (January 1, 1889): 107-21. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 220-221.

Isben, Henrik. ?A Doll?s House.? Making Literature Matter. Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin?s, 2000. 872-921.

Salome, Lou. ?Ibsen?s Heroines.? Black Swan Books (1985) 42-55 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 226-231.

Scott, Clement. ?Review of a Doll?s House.? The Theater (July 1889): 19-22 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 221-222.

Shaw, Bernard. ?The Quintessence of Ibsenism.? B.R. Tucker (1891): 82-86 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 225-226.
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