Flight Of A Woman Essay, Research Paper
The Flight of a Woman In A Doll s House, Ibsen introduces a woman as having her own purposes andgoals while remaining in the subordinate role where society has placed her. Noraportrays the perfect doll wife who is entertained by the thought of opulence andchildlike acts of disobedience. Yet, behind these acts lies a personality that is muchmore serious and controlling than it seems. Nora is not the fool she pretends to be, nor isshe the childlike simpleton Torvald portrays her to be in the beginning of the play. It isher husband s comparing her to a bird that foretells Nora is gaining her wings by the endof the play, as an analysis of the text will reveal. Torvald sets the initial image of Nora in the first scene of the play. His firststatement to her, Is that my skylark twittering out there? exemplifies the almostpatronizing tone Torvald has toward his wife. Torvald also does not trust his wife withmatters of money. On the one occasion that her gives her money, he worries that she willspend it frivolously. These discussions of finance allow Torvald to continue his sarcasmtoward Nora when he refers to her as a funny little creature…Always on the lookout forsome way to get money . .. The reader begins to see Nora as the frivolous wife who hasno sense of self or dignity. Yet, Nora also, at first, allows herself to be contained in the role of submission. Her dependence on Torvald is shown each time a decision a made. She states, Yes,Torvald. I can t get anywhere without your help. This control Torvald has is alsoshown in his reteaching Nora the tarantella. While Nora pretends to desperately needTorvald to teach her every step of the dance, the reader knows this is an act. This acting shows Nora s self-willed submissiveness to her husband. Nora s gaining of self-awareness comes with the meeting with Krogsted. This isthe first occasion where Nora is faced with reality. Before, she believed that rulesoutside the household did not apply to her. Nora refers to the law as being stupid andcontinues on to state, I don t know much about the law but there must be somethingsomewhere that says that such things (saving her father and husband s life as motive) areallowed. Even after Krogstad attempts to explain the law to Nora she calls his word
nonsense and excuses her actions: I did it for love, didn t I? . It is here that Norabegins to see reality, and she deals with it by gathering her children s clothing anddecorating the Christmas tree. This causes Nora to realize her inexperience with theoutside world–the lawful world. Nora s hidden personality begins to reveal itself after the meeting with Krogstad. She begins to admit to herself that she is not such a fit mother and questions her ability toraise them. It is in the conversation with the nurse that the reader gains insight intoNora s plans. She asks the nurse about her giving up her own children and wonders ifthey forgot her after she left. This is Nora s attempt at rationalizing her thoughts ofleaving her family and reassuring herself that the nurse would be a more fit mother forher children. Nora s final decision to leave is brought on by Torvald. After discovering whathis wife has done, Torvald begins to express his true feelings for her of disgust andembarrassment. Because he does not come to her aid, Nora realizes that she now has tobecome a stronger person herself and stop relying on others for her strength. ThroughoutTorvald s rampage of hateful remarks, Nora remains calm with simple statements: Yes.Now I am beginning to understand. Nora discovers that Torvald cares little for hisfamily and more for appearance and social status. Through this realization, Nora spreadsher wings and gains the strength to stand up to her husband and demand his attention: No, that s just it. You don t understand me. And I ve never understood you–until thisevening. No, don t interrupt me. Just listen to what I have to say. With this assertion,the audience knows Nora will soon learn to fly. Nora had been treated like a child all her life. Both her father and her husbandhad denied her the right to think and act for herself, therefore, limiting her happiness. Nora describes her feelings as having never been happy but as having had fun in their playroom home. She realizes now that her decision to leave her husband and herchildren is a wise one. However, she does not leave to prove herself, but rather toeducate and discover herself. She is a woman who will no longer be seen in a man sshadow, but as a person in possession of herself.