Analysis of A Doll’s House by Henrick Ibsen Shira Simmons South University Online Kris Shelton March 12, 2013 A Doll’s House has several high points that lead up to what I’ve considered the most defining moment. When Torvald finally reads the letter Krogstad (a fellow schoolmate and an employee at the bank) wrote revealing that it was not from Nora’s father that she borrowed money, but from him, what follows was totally unexpected by me. It seems that the situation of her husband falling ill and the decisions she had to make in regards to that, forced her to grow.
In the end, Nora makes a decision that she doesn’t want to be married to her husband Torvald any longer, and she tells him so. The line, “We’ve been married for eight years. Doesn’t it occur to you that this is the first time the two of us, you and I, husband and wife, have had a serious conversation? ” (Isben 1879 p. 590) says Nora, licks at where she is going with this conversation between the two of them. As you first read into the play, a perfect “trophy wife” scenario is portrayed. It’s the typical male working and the wife taking care of the kids and other affairs.
The time this play was written, it was more common for the woman to stay home while the man worked. Today it isn’t rare to see the woman working and making more than the man. They are experiencing the normal money issues most married couples have and Torvald is expecting a higher salary after the New Year. As the other characters present themselves, you start to pick up on some uneasiness from Nora whenever Krogstad visits their home and one instance from Mrs. Linde whenever she was present. One evening whilst Torvald was away, Krogstad visits and has a chat with Nora.
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He tells her that if she didn’t convince Torvald to let him keep his job that he would blackmail Nora about the money she borrowed from him and forging her father’s signature on the contract for paying him back. Presenting that maybe their marriage isn’t as perfect as it seems. Torvald had become ill and Nora being the caring, dedicated wife that she had taken it upon herself as her wifely duty to see to it that he got better. Nora had little to no knowledge that forgery was a criminal offense; she only thought she was doing what was best for her husband.
So she told her husband that she borrowed money from her father. Mrs. Linde, an old friend of Nora’s visits as well; she’s the only person Nora really has to confide in during the time this all-takes place. The plot reveals that she and Krogstad had a fling some years ago and now that she was widowed, wanted to link back up with Krogstad once again. She convinces Krogstad that he must leave the letter for Torvald to read because Nora should no longer hold a secret betwixt her and her husband. I felt there was a possibility that Mrs.
Linde didn’t come to just meet back up with Krogstad, that she may have decided this in the mist of Nora and her situation, even though she states otherwise. Maybe she did so to help out Nora and Torvald by focusing Krogstad’s attention elsewhere. Right after Torvald reads Krogstad’s letter, he immediately attacks Nora and belittles her. After saying such degrading, hurtful things, Nora coldly looks at him and replies “Yes, I’m beginning to understand everything now” (Isben 1879 p. 590). This implies she has now realized exactly what she has been and how she has been treated by her father and him both.
He raves on about what she has done to him and what he must do to fix it. Not once taking into account what Nora must be going through herself, or consequences she would have to endure? “…No, I’d better read it again. Yes, it’s true! I’m saved! Nora, I’m saved! ” (Isben 1879 p. 590) exclaims Torvald after reading an apologetic letter from Krogstad and only after Nora saying something did he mention “we” were saved. During her farewell pardon, Nora sounds like a completely different woman. She sounds strong, sure, independent and determined; so very different from whom she was in the beginning.
Although this situation basically ruined their marriage, it really shed some light for Nora. She finally realizes that she has been robbed of so much, being both a prized possession of her father and Torvald’s; that’s the beauty of it. Now she can set forth to learn and to be happy with herself. References: Ibsen, H. (2011). A doll’s house. In D. L. Pike and A. M. Acosta (Eds. ) Literature: A world of writing stories, poems, plays, and essays. [VitalSource digital version] (pp. 555-589). Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions.
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