Torvald and Nora in in Ibsen's A Doll's House

Torvald and Nora in in Ibsen's A Doll's House

Length: 1045 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Character of Torvald and Nora in A Doll's House

In Ibsen's "A Doll's House", there are many clues that hint at the kind of marriage Nora and Torvald have. It seems that Nora is a type of doll that is controlled by Torvald. Nora is completely dependent on Torvald.  His thoughts and movements are her thoughts and movements.  Nora is a puppet who is dependent on its puppet master for all of its actions.

      The most obvious example of Torvald's physical control over Nora can be seen in his teaching of the tarantella. Nora pretends that she needs Torvald to teach her every move in order to relearn the dance. The reader knows that this is an act, but it still shows her complete submissiveness to Torvald. After he teaches her the dance, he proclaims:

          Torvald.  ...When you were dancing the tarantella,              

                 chasing, inviting--my blood was on fire;   

                 I couldn't stand it any longer--thats

                 why I brought you down so early--

          Nora.  Leave me now, Torvald.  Please!  I don't want all this.

          Torvald.  What do you mean?  You're only playing

                    your little teasing bird game with me;

                    aren't you, Nora?  Don't want to?  I'm

                    your husband, aren't I?  (Isben 447)

This shows that Torvald is more interested in Nora physically than emotionally.  He feels that it is one of Nora's main duties as his wife to physically pleasure him at his command.

     Torvald is not only demanding mentally and physically, but also financially.  He does not trust Nora with money. He feels that she is incapable and too immature to handle a matter of such importance.  Torvald sees Nora as a child. She is forever his little "sparrow" or "squirrel".  On the rare occasion that Torvald does give Nora some money, he worries that she will waste it on candy, pastry or something else of Childish and useless value.  Nora's duties, in general, are restricted to caring for the children, doing housework, and working on her needlepoint.  But overall, Nora's most important responsibility is to please Torvald. This makes her role similar to that of a slave.

     The problem in "A Doll's House" does not lie with Torvald alone.  Though he does not help the situation, he is a product of his society.  In his society, females were confined in every way imaginable.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Torvald and Nora in in Ibsen's A Doll's House." 18 Sep 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- In Henrik Ibsen’s dramatic play A Doll’s House there are many characters that have grown to be adults that they either do not wish to be or that they are expected to be. The character breakdown as the play goes from act to act is apparent. From a woman struggling to be the perfect wife and mother to a husband trying to be perfect and surround himself with people that are likewise we see that it is much harder to put on a mask to be something you are not. Nora Helmer is a simple woman. She is the mother to young children as well as an adoring wife to her husband Torvald....   [tags: torvald, nora, christine]

Research Papers
924 words (2.6 pages)

Women´s Role in A Doll´s House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- ... Linde. The statement “Do you think it was easy for me to break it with you?”1 and “We couldn’t wait for you, Krogstad. You know yourself how uncertain your prospects were then”1 made by Mrs. Linde shows that despite the fact that she loved Krogstad very much, she had to break up with him because he didn’t have enough money. She was forced to sacrifice her desires to support her ill mother and two younger brothers. Unlike her friend, Nora, Mrs. Linde has more freedom to do what she wants, however she is not entirely satisfied....   [tags: marriage, torvald, nora]

Research Papers
679 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on A Doll’s House

- The enforcement of specific gender roles by societal standards in 19th century married life proved to be suffocating. Women were objects to perform those duties for which their gender was thought to have been created: to remain complacent, readily accept any chore and complete it “gracefully” (Ibsen 213). Contrarily, men were the absolute monarchs over their respective homes and all that dwelled within. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, Nora is subjected to moral degradation through her familial role, the consistent patronization of her husband and her own assumed subordinance....   [tags: Character Analysis, Nora, Ibsen, Torvald]

Research Papers
1504 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

- Marriage is a forever commitment between two individuals to love one another but marriages don't always have the fairytale happy ending. In Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll House, Nora and Torvald Helmer learn some things about their marriage that they had not realized before. Nora Helmer discovers Torvald, herself, her marriage, as well as her own identity as a woman. Nora Helmer, the wife of Torvald Helmer, throughout the whole play has been keeping a secret from her husband. A few years back when Torvald became ill the doctor recommended that the whole family move south in order for Torvald to fully recover....   [tags: Ibsen Doll's House]

Research Papers
1061 words (3 pages)

“A Doll’s House”: Nora and Torvald as Husband and Wife Essay

- In “A Doll’s House,” Ibsen presents us with the drama of Torvald and Nora Helmer, a husband and wife who have been married for eight years and whose lives are controlled by the society in which they live. Their relationship, although seemingly happy, is marred by the constraints of social attitudes around them and their perceived gender roles. Creating even more conflict is the thin veil of deceit between them, which inevitably breaks them apart. In the Victorian era, the status of women in society was extremely oppressive and, by modern standards, atrocious....   [tags: Women's Studies]

Research Papers
1228 words (3.5 pages)

A Doll's House, by Henry Ibsen Essay

- In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House, a drama written in the midst of an 1879, middle-class, suburban Europe, he boldly depicts a female protagonist. In a culture with concern for fulfilling, or more so portraying a socially acceptable image, Nora faces the restraints of being a doll in her own house and a little helpless bird. She has been said to be the most complex character of drama, and rightfully so, the pressure of strict Victorian values is the spark that ignites the play's central conflicts....   [tags: Henry Ibsen, A Doll House]

Research Papers
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Nora's Symbolism in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

- Nora's Symbolism in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House       In every society power is the bringer of fortune and influence. In his play A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen portrays, through the character of Nora, the power women are gaining in patriarchal societies. Nora, who symbolizes all women, exercises her power throughout the entire play. She cleverly manipulates the men around her while, to them, she seems to be staying in her subordinate role. In all three acts of the play Nora controls many situations and yields the most power.  Act I, along with the introduction of Ibsen's tone and style, brought the introduction of power....   [tags: Dolls House essays Ibsen Nora Papers]

Research Papers
984 words (2.8 pages)

Essay The Lie in Ibsen's A Doll's House

- The Lie in Ibsen's A Doll's House      An action or statement that may be considered a lie to some may, in fact, not be considered, a lie to others: it might simply be considered, omitted information. The lie might seem to have an evil intent when first heard, but the true intention behind it may have been for helpful purposes or for protection.  In Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, a lie was created to help and protect a loved one - yet it resulted in a catastrophic act.   The character Nora lives her life, in one sense, as a complete lie....   [tags: Dolls House essays Ibsen Essays]

Research Papers
1839 words (5.3 pages)

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

- In Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House, Torvald and his wife, Nora, live a middle class, conservative life with three children. Nora stays at home while Torvald works as a manager at a bank. Previously, when Torvald was sick, Nora forged her father's signature on a bond to receive money for a trip to Italy so Torvald could recover. Only Nils Krogstad, another man at the bank, and Nora's best friend, Linde, know about her terrible secret. Linde and Krogstad have also failed in society like Nora: Krogstad has performed the same act of forgery, and Linde had to work to support her family while most women stayed at home....   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Free Essays
649 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

- Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House In the following essay I will discussing whether or not I believe that Mrs. Linde is right on calling Nora “childish” in the first act of “A Dolls House.” “A Dolls House” was written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879 is based upon the day to day human struggle against the degrading constraints of social conformity....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen Doll's House]

Free Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Related Searches

  Everything they did had to have their husband's approval, whether it delt with money, business, or anything else of significance.  At times, they could not even speak their true thoughts or feelings without a harsh reprimanding.  In this society, wives were to be seen and not heard.

     Throughout the the drama, Nora keeps referring to "the wonderful."  This "wonderful" is what Nora expects to happen after Krogstad reveals the truth of her forgery(a greatly forbidden crime in this era).  She expects Torvald to stick up for her and offer to take the blame for the crime upon himself.  She feels that this will be the true test of his love and devotion.  But Torvald does not offer to help Nora, in fact, he belittles her:

          Torvald.  You mave ruined all my happiness.  My

                    whole future--that's what you have

                    destroyed.  Oh, it's terrible to think

                    about.  I am at the mercy of an

                    unscrupulous man.  He can do with me

                    whatever he likes, demand anything of

                    me, command me and dispose of me just as

                    he pleases--I dare not say a word!  To

                    go down so miserably, to be destroyed--

                    all because of an irresponsible!  (Isben 451)

This is where Torvald makes his grave mistake.  Nora realizes that Torvald places both his social and physical appearance ahead of the wife whom he says he loves. This heartbreaking revelation is what finally prompts Nora to walk out on Torvald.  Torvald tries to reconcile with Nora, but she explains to him:

          Nora.  I have waited patiently for eight years,

                 for I wasn't such a fool that I thought

                 the wonderful is something that happens any

                 old day.  Then this--thing--came crashing

                 in on me, and then there wasn't a doubt in

                 my mind that now--now comes the wonderful... 

          Torvald.  Yes, then waht?  When I had surrendered  

                    my wife to shame and disgrace--!

          Nora.  When that happened, I was certain that you                         

                 would stand up and take the blame and say,

                 "I'm the guilty one."

          Torvald.  Nora!

          Nora.  You mean I never would have accepted such

                 a sacrifice from you?  Of course not.  But

                 what would my protests have counted against

                 yours.  That was the wonderful I was hoping

                 for in terror.  And to prevent that I was

                 going to kill myself.  (Isben 456)

Nora has been treated like a child all her life, by both Torvald and her father.  Both male superiority figures not only denied her the right to think and act the way she wished, but they also placed a limit on her happiness. Nora describes her feelings as "always merry, never happy"(Isben ).  When Nora finally slams the door and leaves, she is not only slamming it on Torvald, but also on everything else that has happened in her past which curtailed her growth into a mature woman.

     In today's society, many women are in a situation similar to Nora's. Although many people have accepted women as being equal, there are still those in modern America who are doing their best to suppress the feminist revolution. Torvald is an example of men who are only interested in their appearance and the amount of control they have over a person.  These our the men that are holding society down by not caring about the feelings of others.  But Torvald is not the only guilty party.  Nora, although very submissive, is also very manipulative.  She makes Torvald think he is much smarter and stronger, but in reality, she thinks herself to be quite crafty as far as getting what she wants.  However, when the door is slammed, Torvald is no longer exposed to Nora's manipulative nature.  He then comes to the realization of what true love and equality are, and that they cannot be achieved with people like Nora and himself together.  When everyone finally views males and females as equals, and when neither men nor women overuse their power of gender that society gives them, is when true equality will exist in the world.
Return to