Flaws Portrayed Within the Helmer Marriage in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Flaws Portrayed Within the Helmer Marriage in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Length: 1147 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Marriage is a union between two people who communicate and love each other. A love so pure and unconditional that only in death can they part. In a Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Nora and Torvald appear to portray the perfect marriage. However, throughout the play flaws within the Helmer marriage are exposed: a lack of communication, love and selflessness. A relationship based on lies and play-acting; A marriage condemned by the weight of public opinion.
Nora and Torvald lack one of the key elements needed to make a marriage work. Good communication allows you to better understand your partners needs and to unite as a team to solve problems or comply. When Torvald got sick and the only thing to save his life was to move to the south; Nora found a way to procure the money and forged her father’s signature to obtain the loan. The most heroic action of her life is an unforgivable crime in the eyes of society. Nora has kept this a secret from Torvald. “A man who has such strong opinions about these things! And besides, how painfully and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it is now.”(12) To pay back the loan, Nora has worked without her husband’s consent, staying up late nights copying, to earn money and saving a bit from what Torvald gives her. “Whenever Torvald has given me money for new dresses and such things I have never spent more than half of it; I have always bought the simplest and cheapest things.”(13) Without trust, honesty can never be obtained. There was poor communication throughout their entire marriage and only at the end, after eight years of being married d...

... middle of paper ...

... I am a reasonable human being just as you are--or, at all events, that I must try and become one. I know quite well, Torvald, that most people would think you are right and that views of that kind are to be found in books; but I can no longer content myself with what most people say or with what is found in books. I must think over things for myself and get to understand them.”(68) Nora chooses to walk down a difficult path, rejecting society’s norm and facing the unknown on her own. Nora embarks on a journey of self discover.
Henrik Ibsen uses his play, A Doll’s House, to challenge the status of the typical marriage and question feminist equality. Ibsen makes an example of the Helmer marriage by exposing social problems within society. The play ends without any solutions, however, Ibsen does offer women possibilities. Nora is a heroine among women, then and now.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Escaping the Cage of Marriage in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essays

- Escaping the Cage of Marriage in A Doll House       A bird may have beautiful wings, but within a cage, the beautiful wings are useless. Within the cage, the bird is not fulfilling the potential for which it was created - it is merely a household decoration.  In Ibsen's symbolic play A Doll House, Nora is the bird, and her marriage is the cage. Externally, Nora is a beautiful creature entertaining her husband with the beautiful images of a docile wife, but internally, she is a desperate creature longing to explore her potential outside the cage of her marriage....   [tags: A Doll’s House Essays]

Strong Essays
1839 words (5.3 pages)

The Breaking of a Family in A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- The Breaking of a Family In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll House Ibsen describes the perfect family and the conflicts within. Ibsen examines the normal lives of the Helmer family through the eyes of the wife, Nora Helmer. She goes through a series of trials as she progresses through the play and with each trial she realizes something is missing in her life. Ibsen examines the struggles within the house. Ibsen opens the play with the perfect home where Nora is planning Christmas and how she is planning every detail with no concern for her own needs....   [tags: selfless attitude, nora helmer]

Strong Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

- ... It is shown that Nora and Torvald’s marriage is a façade and that they both are doll’s, created to function as the ideal couple. To Nora their “home has been nothing but a playroom" (Ibsen, Act 3), evidently indicating that the reality of their relationship is only for parade. Nora performs for Torvald at his request, as though she is merely his “doll-wife” (Act 3) that he can just show off to society to increase his status. Once the truth is revealed about her committing forgery, Nora realizes that she cannot continue the marriage that she is in, and “deserts her husband's house” (Act 3) leaving him shocked....   [tags: victorian era, nora helmer, women]

Strong Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

- Societal appearance and acceptance is an utmost characteristic an average individual tends to underestimate. It may seem as if individual morals go against the social appearance, but in value, individuals perceive a need for an appearance to convey a sense of belonging. Within two diverse yet similarly realist drama's, A Doll’s House and Death of a Salesman societal appearance’s stands above all else. Henrick Ibsen's A Doll's House embarks on the gender fitting and domesticity of the Victorian Era at its worse as Nora Helmer's unrealistic marriage falls within her grasps, leading to rebellion....   [tags: A Doll’s House Essays]

Strong Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Critical Attitude Toward Marriage and Duty in the Play, A Doll's House by Henrick Ibsen

- ... Linden, we know Nora believes her husband will sacrifice himself for her and she will do the same to her husband too. This is the reason why Nora says there is no hope for them because Nora believes a married couple is willing sacrifice for each other in order to make sure the other partner is safe in a true marriage. Only one of them can stay alive. However, Torvald’s selfish reaction when he is put to test makes Nora lose her faith in their marriage. Moreover, the conversation between Nora and Mrs....   [tags: controversial, faith, perspective]

Strong Essays
980 words (2.8 pages)

Analysis of the Character of Mrs. Linde in A Doll's House Essay

- The American author Napoleon Hill once stated “think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” In Henrick Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, the character of Mrs. Linde contributes to the exposition and pivotal moment of the decideding factors of Krogstad, she also has a profound influence on the character development of Nora Helmer. Mrs. Linde directly contributes to Nora’s moment of realization and Nora’s decision to leave her husband at the end of the play....   [tags: doll's house, henrick ibsen, influence]

Strong Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Themes and Symbols in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

- “I’ve been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’a doll-child” (Ibsen 1491). Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House tells a story of scandal and deceit set in the Victorian era. Nora Helmer is married to Torvald Helmer and she feels more like his toy than his wife. Nora had to have Torvald to be able to do anything, because of when she lived. Nora borrows money behind her husband’s back (which is illegal at this time) and tries to cover up everything she has done. Ibsen employs the use of many themes and symbols in his A Doll House to show the reader just how Nora was a doll-child who evolved into a doll-wife....   [tags: A Doll’s House Essays]

Strong Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Henrik Isben's A Doll's House Essay

- A Closer look at Ibsens A Dolls House "Everything is relative" or so the flippant motto of the post-modern generation would say. Interestingly enough, this aphorism is brilliantly applied by Henrik Ibsen to enhance his characters in the acclaimed drama, A Doll’s House. Often, we see things relative to their surroundings, and as the contrast between objects heighten, each becomes more visible. Within the first act of A Doll’s House, we encounter Christine Linde, a childhood friend of the main character, Nora, and Dr....   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Strong Essays
904 words (2.6 pages)

The Feminist Movement in A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- The Feminist Movement in A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen   In Henrik Ibsen's, A Doll's House, the character of Nora Helmer goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving housewife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this, Ibsen effectively creates a dramatic argument that continues to this day; that of feminism....   [tags: Doll?s House Henrik Ibsen Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
1642 words (4.7 pages)

Breaking Away From Society: A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- ... When the marriage finally comes to an end, Torvald is devastated for only a quick moment that Nora has gone. He thinks to himself, “Empty. She’s gone. (A hope flashes across his mind.) The most wonderful miracle of all?” (Ibsen 1650). The distress the marriage was causing was, in fact, not only affecting Nora, but putting a strain on the entire family. The only reason the marriage did not come to an end sooner was the need for Torvald and Nora to keep up their appearances. Society was not accepting of women fighting back in their marriage and especially did approve of a mother and wife leaving her husband and children....   [tags: marriage ideals, torvald]

Strong Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)