The drastic change in Nora’s relationship with Torvald that occurs
during the course of the play is made quite evident by what she says
and the way she delivers her speech. At the beginning of the play Nora
seems completely happy with her doll-like relationship with Torvald.
She responds affectionately to Torvald’s teasing and plays along with
him – “if you only knew what expenses we skylarks and squirrels have,
Torvald”. She is quite happy to be Torvald’s “little featherbrain”.
However, as the play continues, Nora starts to realise that her
marriage has been a performance and that she needs her own freedom.
She becomes more rebellious, starts to use the imperative with Torvald
and somewhat abandons her childlike language. As the play reaches its
end, Nora becomes totally independent from Torvald and talks to him
from equal to equal, not daughter to father.
At the beginning of the play, Nora’s relationship with Torvald seems
that of a child with her father. She is patronised, called a “little
squirrel”, a “skylark” and accused of being a “spendthrift” because
she can’t save money although she seems quite happy to be called so as
she doesn’t complain about it and even plays along - when Torvald says
“scampering about like a little squirrel?” she just answers “yes”
instead of complaining about being treated like a little girl. When
Torvald asks her “what do they call little birds who are always making
money fly?” she answers “yes, I know, spendthrifts” as if she had been
taught that lesson many times because she is so childish that she
keeps on making the same mistake. She never contradicts her husband –
“very well, Torvald, if you say so” – asks for his approval like a...
... middle of paper ...
...and that “it’s no
good your forbidding me anything any longer” because she has freed
herself. By the end of the play Nora has her own voice, not Torvald’s,
she is no longer his doll that will do whatever he asks to please him,
no longer his “little skylark” and “not the wife for you”.
Over the course of the play, the alteration in Nora’s relationship
with Torvald is made evident by the change in the way she speaks. At
the beginning, she is his “little squirrel”, a childish “featherbrain”
that is pampered and patronised by Torvald. The various turning points
in the action, where Nora starts to change the way she speaks, using
the imperative and contradicting Torvald start to show the change in
the relationship that is completed by the end of the play, when Nora
talks clearly to Torvald from equal to equal, having a voice of her
own, no longer his doll.
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