There are many ways in which society expects a women to act. She is meant to be a wife, a mother, and a homemaker. She is expected to have traits of innocence, dependency, moral soundness, and fragility. On the surface, it may seem like Nora Helmer fits the role of the average 19th century woman. Nora Helmer is the main character in the play A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. She is the wife of Torvald Helmer and a mother of three. Nora fits the role of the perfect housewife, but a closer look shows us that not everything is as it seems to be. As the play progresses, Nora becomes confused about her role in life. Nora grows into a strong woman that stands up for herself and takes control of her destiny. Using her strengths and weaknesses, we see Nora shatter the image of the “Dollhouse” that she has been living in.
To the outside world it seems that the Helmers have a perfect life. They are wealthy, stable, healthy, and happy. They are living a perfect life with their perfect family, like a doll 's house. Nora is not the perfect doll of a wife that she seems to be. She keeps many things from her husband and constantly lies to him.
NORA. Just a minute (hides the bag of macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth)
Come here, Torvald, and see what i 've bought. (KKKKK)
Later in the play we see Nora swear to her husband that she had not been eating any candy. This simple act of dishonesty is representable of Nora 's character and the relationship that her and Torvald share. Nora also hides from him a large debt that she has because of a loan she took out behind his back. Torvald, similar to many men during this time period, seems to have ownership over his wife. He tells her what she can an...
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...children in their turn have been my dolls. (KKKKK)
Nora realizes that not only has she been lying to torvald, but she has also been lying to herself. She has not only been playing the Torvald’s doll but doing the same to her children. When it is revealed that Nora had kept the secret of her debt from torvald, and that she had done something illegal, Torvald reacted in an unexpected way. Instead of caring for Nora 's well being or trying to understand why she did it, he only cared about his reputation. Nora realized that the man she loved and would do anything for, did not care the same way for her. Nora would rather be treated like a person and make her own way in the world than to continue to be torvalds “Little lark”. Nora makes a very difficult and bold move at the end of the play. Nora leaves the dollhouse behind to discover herself and create her own ideals.
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