Ibsens’ A Dolls House Essay, Research Paper
Key Question: Did Nora make the right decision? Why or why not?
Nora and Helmer s relationship in Ibsen s play, A Doll s House, is a very fictitious relationship. The way Nora is treated, called names, and bossed around, degrades the female society. Feminism lurks throughout the whole play. The idea that women are nothing but a house pet is interpreted through Nora by Helmer. Helmer as egotistical as he is, uses and plays Nora like a toy for his own benefits, to look good in front of his co-workers and friends. A Doll, an empty headed play thing, was what Nora was living as under Helmers roof. The light shines on Nora one day and knocks some sense into her about the dirty self-degrading life she was living, and so she leaves Helmer and her children. Yes, Nora did make the right decision because she needed to take control of her own life and do as she pleases. She needed to teach herself how to survive on her own, make money for her own self. She did it for the better of her children.
Didn t you tell me no one had been here? [shakes his finger at her.] My little songbird must never do that again. A songbird must have a clean beak to chirp with-no false notes! (Ibsen 25) Controlled, treated like a child, called names by Torvald and Nora does nothing about it as if she feared him or was hiding something from him just as the time she hid the macaroons from him. Nora is not a little girl, she deserves the respect as an adult and not be called names and referred to as a little squirrel or spendthrift. The only reason Nora probably stayed with Torvald for so long was because she needed him for various reasons, but mainly for money. Yes, Torvald, I can t get along a bit without your help. (Ibsen 26)
Torvald took advantage of her helplessness for his own little schemes. as a matter of course he will come to dinner with us. However, I will ask him when he comes in this morning. I have ordered some good wine. Nora, you can t think how I am looking forward to this evening. (Ibsen 5) He is very egotistical. Everything for him is I , Not Nora or anyone or anything else comes before his own self.
In this play there is the idea that a woman s place in the relationship is in the house. Nora s house is her own cage she is trapped into. As if it were a jail cell. Torvald supports that idea as many men in this world do. Can you understand your place in your own home? have you no religion? (Ibsen 68). That is a trap Nora let herself get lured into. A powerless being in the palm of Torvalds hands.
When Nora starts to question herself if she is really happy living the way she is and finds out she isn t, she decides to abandon her home to morally find herself. She had been living with a man who knew nothing about her, except as being his little toy, and whom she knew nothing about him. No. I can receive nothing from a stranger (Ibsen 71) Its funny and strange that a couple living together with children in reality know nothing of each other. They lived their lives as two strangers.
Nora abandoning her cage she so called home was the best she ever did for herself. It was the right decision to make for her personal well-being. She escapes the
moral feminist disrespect she has been receiving form Torvald the whole time they have lived together. The Doll leaves the dollhouse in search of her true self.