Essay about A Dolls House

Submitted By Jessica-DeMoss
Words: 1245
Pages: 5

Jessica DeMoss DeMoss 1
Professor Stiles/ Whitson
English 100/ 235
22 February 2011 In Sickness and in Health What does it mean to be married? People take on many different roles as husbands and wives, but what roles lead to a happy marriage? A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen, shows how the main character, Nora, takes on her role as Torvald Helmer’s wife, which is best described as “doll-like”. Throughout the course of the play and as troubles brew for Nora, the audience takes note that a marriage needs more than just a good façade to work. It is almost safe to say that the audience will learn what not to do in a marriage by reading A Doll’s House. First of all, a marriage needs both the husband and the wife to make decisions for the relationship. In the beginning of the play, Nora not only accepts her role as a doll in Torvald’s house but she actually embraces it like the meaning to life. She takes pride in making everything pleasing to Torvald, including the Christmas tree. And like the Christmas tree, she hides herself until she is ready to be presented. It is obvious to the audience that Torvald likes Nora acting like a child. He calls her belittling pet names such as “little squirrel” and “little skylark”. Nora is not really allowed to make any sort of decisions by herself including spending money and eating macaroons. When Nora expresses her lack of interest in saving money, Torvald exclaims “That is like a woman!” Torvald believes women do not know a thing about finances. The audience also sees instantly that Torvald is extremely concerned with appearance. He thinks that it would DeMoss 2 be embarrassing to be seen with any sort of conflict, especially with his wife. Maybe if Torvald was not so concerned with appearance, he could take time to really understand what is going on right under his nose. It is clear that Torvald believes a proper place for his wife is as his puppet or as his child because he is always guiding her to do what he thinks is right. This issue is definitely more common in less modern times than it is now but it is still crucial to a marriage that both people are involved as equally as possible in the affairs of their household. It may not have seemed this way for Torvald because he actually enjoyed his wife’s dependence on him, and in some cases this too can work but the result, as we can see, can lead to unhappiness. Torvald even said, “Do you know that I’ve often wished you were facing some terrible dangers so that I could risk life and limb, risk everything, for your sake?” As a husband, Torvald likes saving Nora so much that he wishes that opportunities like that will arise. Another crucial necessity of marriage and for any other relationship is honesty. From the beginning, Nora cannot be honest with her husband because she is afraid. She must always be on alert to hide something if Torvald should come into the room. Nora is deathly afraid about her secret of borrowing money. Even when telling him seems like the best solution, she knows that he will be incredibly ashamed to learn that his wife has borrowed money and has forged her father’s signature behind his back. Nora even considers suicide before Torvald reads Krogstad’s letter just so she does not have to endure telling him the truth. Nora and Torvald are not the only couple in the play that could benefit from being honest with each other. Once Mrs. Linde has a word with Mr. Krogstad and tells him the truth about how she feels, they both benefit because now they can move on and be with each other happily. Krogstad even agreed to turn the forged note to the Helmers after experiencing great truth and great joy with Mrs. Linde. This shows that DeMoss 3 love can go a long way with honesty attached. Honesty is not only good for the couples in this play but it is also good for Nora as an individual. She experiences great realization once the truth is revealed about