Marriage, as an institution, facilitates the union of man and woman enabling them to raise a family. The wellbeing and happiness of the family depends equally on the man and the woman. But this equality is imperceptible in married relations, even in the modern society. The woman always compromises for the sake of her family and abandons her freedom.
The play “A Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen depicts the situation of a married woman, Nora Helmer who has to repress her desires and behave according to the wish of her husband, Torvald. The title of the play denotes the house of Nora and Torvald who behave like dolls owing to their circumstances.
Although Nora is a skilled and wise woman, her husband regards her to be an asinine and childish woman. “Nora! Are your scatterbrains off again?” (Ibsen & Fjelde 44). When Torvald was ill, Nora was the one who saved his life with the aid of money borrowed from Krogstad. But she refrained from revealing about the borrowed money to her husband so that his pride is not hurt.
She also worked secretly to repay the debt. But she presents herself before her husband in a manner which pleases him. Her husband thinks that Nora is a silly woman and Nora continues to act like a one before him. Nora lives in her house like a doll whose strings are in the hands of her husband. Similarly, Torvald is a doll who leads his life in accordance to the expectations of the people working with him and the society.
He is more concerned about other people’s thoughts regarding him and his married life rather than the feelings of his own wife. The title “A Doll House” is significant in bringing forth the lives of Nora and Torvald which resembles a doll’s life in various aspects. Like a doll, the lives of Nora and Torvald are not under their own control. Their actions and behavior are influenced by their circumstances. Nora behaves as her husband wants her to behave and Torvald acts in a manner which is accepted by the society in which he is living with his wife.
Ibsen, Henrik & Fjelde, Rolf. A Doll House. Signet Classic. 1992.