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The Miracle of A Doll's House
In the play A Doll's House, Nora fits in a role of the little
helpless wife whose husband takes care of everything. During the play, she
keeps a secret from her husband that eventually leads to the destruction of
her marriage. When the secret surfaces, Nora finds out just what kind of
man she was married to. Maybe she always knew but now wants something
different in her life.
A few years earlier her husband was terribly sick and needed to get
away for a while, possibly go south. With no money, he was unable to go.
Nora wanted to do everything she could for her husband to help him get well.
In order to do this she needed to borrow money. Unfortunately she made
the mistake of borrowing it and forging her father's signature. This is
the secret that she hides all through the play from her husband.
Nora believes Helmer will try to take the blame for what she has
done. She thinks he will keep being the man that takes charge and fixes
all problems that may come about. What she doesn't realize at this point
is that Helmer does not truly care for her the way she has brought herself
to believe throughout the years of their marriage. Nora tells Dr. Rank, a
family friend: “...You know how deeply, how passionately Torvald is in love
with me. He would never hesitate for a moment to sacrifice his life for my
Later in the play Nora made the same mistake with Kristine Linde as
she did with Dr. Rank. In the following line Nora expresses her belief of
what Helmer may do: “Then you must testify... And I tell you this: nobody
else knew anything, I alone was responsible for the whole thing. Remember
These are two of the most important lines in the play because they
signify the whole relationship's meaning and underlying imagery. What Nora
thinks will happen when her husbands finds out is completely opposite of
what really happens.
When Helmer reads the letter and calls out to Nora, she answers
back almost like she was expecting him to come running to save her. When
she says: “... Let me go! Let me out!...You mustn't try to save me,
Torvald!” , she clearly wants him to try and save her, playing the role of
the damsel in distress.
Nora begins to doubt her husbands faithfulness when she tells him
how much she loved him and he responds with: “Don't come to me with a lot
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of paltry excuses!” And he later says: “Stop play-acting! ... Do you
understand what you have done?” She then understands what sort of
relationship they had. She now begins to think about her place in the home.
Is she fit to be a mother or a wife? She doesn't think she is at this
point. She has decided to leave her children and Torvald to ‘search for
herself'. Of course, this is after Torvald has suddenly forgiven her.
When she leaves she tells Torvald the only way their marriage would
survive would be by a “miracle of miracles”. Just before walking out she
says: “Both you and I would have to change to the point where...Where we
could make a real marriage of our lives together.” Torvald then slumps in
a chair with his hands over his face and questions what she meant by
miracle of miracles.
Nora's entire life is based around her husband. She does what he
says, when he says to do it, and how he says it is to be done. She tries
to love him with everything she's got. Only she isn't ‘mature' enough to
give all of herself to someone else. Being passed straight to Torvald from
her father was a huge leap for Nora, and with no training or the least bit
of experience on how to be a good mother or wife, she was almost doomed to
fail. After, she begins to understand for herself the importance of
knowing who she is before she can begin to take care of someone else, she
then truly starts her life over. That is the true miracle of miracles.