Essay on The Heroic Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Essay on The Heroic Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Length: 2491 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Heroic Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

 
What does it mean to be a hero?  According to Webster, a hero is someone "of great strength [and] courage" who is "admired" for his or her "courage and nobility."1  Stretching this definition a bit further, I would argue that a hero is someone who uses this strength, courage, and nobility to help or save others.  Nora Helmer, in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, leaves her husband and family at the end of the play-a move that can be viewed as either very selfish or very heroic.  Because Nora uses her strength and courage in effort to save others and herself from the false "doll's house" life they are living in, her final act of leaving home is truly heroic.  Nora saves her children from being raised by a mother who doesn't know the first thing about being a mother and she saves Torvald by no longer enabling him to live the false life he has built for himself.  Finally, she saves herself by taking herself out of the "doll's house" and into the real world to discover who she is and what she believes.

Although leaving her children is quite possibly one of the most difficult things for a mother to do, Nora, through great strength, does this to save them from being raised by herself: a woman who doesn't know how to be a mother.  Some may argue that Nora's move is purely selfish because her children, who love her dearly, have their lives wrapped up in her very existence.  She is their playmate and, very likely, the only parent who will take any time for them since their father seems much more interested in his job than his children's lives.  How can she just abandon her children, leaving them helpless? 

These arguments are solid, but they are ove...


... middle of paper ...


... I would make the case that we can all learn from Nora's action of leaving her home and her security.  At one point or another, we all have places or situations in our lives that we need to abandon in order to stretch ourselves beyond the comfortable "doll's house" we are immersed in.  This "doll's house" could be a relationship, an addiction, a career, or even a physical place.  Whatever our "doll's house" might be, do we have Nora's same strength, courage, and nobility to leave it?  If we do, we may, in some way, save not only ourselves but also those closest to us, and therefore become heroes like Ibsen's heroine Nora.

Note

1. "Hero," Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1976 ed.

2. All references to A Doll's House are from Henrik Ibsen, Four Major Plays, trans. James McFarlane and Jens Arup (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 1981).

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Heroic Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

- The Heroic Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House   What does it mean to be a hero?  According to Webster, a hero is someone "of great strength [and] courage" who is "admired" for his or her "courage and nobility."1  Stretching this definition a bit further, I would argue that a hero is someone who uses this strength, courage, and nobility to help or save others.  Nora Helmer, in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, leaves her husband and family at the end of the play-a move that can be viewed as either very selfish or very heroic.  Because Nora uses her strength and courage in effort to save others and herself from the false "doll's house" life they are living in, her final act...   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Powerful Essays
2491 words (7.1 pages)

Helmer and Nora's Relationship in Ibsen's Doll's House Essay

- Helmer and Nora's Relationship in Ibsen's Doll's House Ibsens use of language helps us see the characters nature and to find out their personality and structure of the characters relationships. Each character has their own unique use of language. This helps us to see the difference between the characters and their relationships. As we read through the play A Dolls House this becomes clear when we learn about Nora and Torvalds relationship and how it changes throughout the play....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

Reasons for Nora Helmer to Stay in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay example

- In "A Doll House" Ibsen made a very controversial act, by having Nora leave her husband and her family. After first reading the play I thought that what Nora did was the right thing to do. But after thinking about I now realize that wasn't the right thing to do. Yes, Torvald was not the best husband in the world, but Nora should have considered that before she married him. To turn your back on your spouse is one thing, but to turn your back on your children is another. Nora was around in an era were women were looked down upon, not considered equal to men, so it would be hard for her to find a job....   [tags: A Doll’s House Essays]

Powerful Essays
706 words (2 pages)

Reasons Nora Helmer Must Leave Her Husband in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House

- Reasons Nora Helmer Must Leave Her Husband in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House Foreward: Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House (aka A Doll's House) is so rich in moral, political, and metaphysical (if one is to regard such matters as "selfhood" and "identity" as metaphysical) insights and criticisms that it is hard to imagine how one could absorb it all in one sitting. Its moral message was very bold in its day and remains so in the more slowly progressing parts of the world, like North America. Institutions move faster than attitudes (at least in times of progressive, interventionist governance) and there are many lag-minded relics who still don't understand why equal-rights legislation has had to be p...   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Powerful Essays
1719 words (4.9 pages)

Nora Helmer 's A Doll 's House Essays

- Analysis of Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House 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....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway]

Powerful Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

Nora Helmer From A Dollhouse By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- Analyzing Nora Helmer from A Dollhouse By: Henrik Ibsen First impressions are everything as introductions of characters can make or break an opportunity to entice a reader with the prospect of a new perspective. Writers must emphasize on the characters ' body language, physical appearance, and colloquialisms for their readers to determine whether they will be able to relate and enjoy the literature of their choice. Henrik Ibsen, the play writer of A Dollhouse first impression of his major character Nora Helmer, is reveled to us through other characters at first as the antagonist of his play....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway, Husband]

Powerful Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

A Doll 's House By Nora Helmer Essay

- A Doll House Many females in the 1800’s did not have the courage to make decisions on their own. In the play A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer takes risks while making the decision to save her husband’s life. Nora does a good job in showing what self-respect truly means. The author focuses on what a marriage should contain by the way the characters interact with each other. The author shows us the different personalities about each character, allowing us to view their strengths and weaknesses....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen]

Powerful Essays
710 words (2 pages)

An Analysis Of Nora Helmer 's ' A Doll 's House ' Essay

- An Unrewarded Woman: Nora Helmer Nora Helmer plays variuos roles in this innovative three-act play of A Doll’s House. Nora’s role as a wife of Torvald Helmer, is exteremely courageous, who puts everything on bet to save her economically troubled husband and it goes totally unnoticed and this portrays the picture of the women of all middle classes in this society. Nora is cheerful natured woman who is loved by her husband very much. Torvald expresses his love toward her saying her “little lark” and “little squirrel” and other praising words....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, Love]

Powerful Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Nora Helmer 's A Doll 's House

- Nora Helmer, the hero in the play "A Doll 's House" by Henrik Isben, is basically a doll carrying on with the life of extravagance. She is at first ruined by her dad as a tyke, and later, ruined by her significant other, Torvald Helmer. Torvald alludes to Nora as things, for example, "… my little [twittering] songbird… "(424), and "… poor little girl"(427). This is the underlying picture tormented of Nora as the play opens. There are other key hints to who Nora genuinely is right from the opening of the play too....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen]

Powerful Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House Essay

- ... (Page 15) As Mrs. Linde refers to Nora as unwise of doing so she rejects the idea of being imprudent, justifying her position as due to cause and nothing more. (Page 16) All through the conversation she joyously talks about her fortunes, adventures and success of having saved the life of Torvald, she stops for a short while and sure enough finds a way to continue about the recruitment of her money. (Page 10-19) After her catch up with Ms.Linde, Krogstad first appears in fear of losing his position at the bank after Helmer becomes angry by Krogstad for referring to Helmer as an equal and convinces Nora to fight for the sake of his job....   [tags: Nora Helmer, character analysis]

Powerful Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)