A Doll’s House (The Transformation of Nora)

A Doll’s House (The Transformation of Nora)

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Nora is portrayed as a doll throughout the play until she realizes the truth about the world she lives in, and cuts herself free. Nora Helmer was a delicate character that had been pampered all of her life, by her father, and by Torvald. She really didn’t have a care in the world. She didn’t even have to care for the children; the maid would usually take care of that.

In every sense of the word, she was your typical housewife. Nora never left the house, mostly because her husband was afraid of the way people would talk. It really wasn’t her fault she was the way she was; it was mostly Torvald’s for spoiling her. Nora relies on Torvald for everything, from movements to thoughts, much like a puppet that is dependent on its puppet master for all of its actions. Her carefree spirit and somewhat childish manners are shown throughout the play with statements such as, “Is that my little lark twittering out there? ” (1). “Is it my little squirrel bustling about? ” (2).

A lark is a happy, carefree bird, and a squirrel is quite the opposite. If you are to squirrel away something, you were hiding or storing it, kind of like what Nora was doing with her bag of macaroons. It seems childish that Nora must hide things such as macaroons from her husband, but if she didn’t and he found out, she would be deceiving him and going against his wishes which would be socially wrong. As the play goes on, Nora seems to transform from her delicate little character into something much more. At the end of act one, Krogstad goes to Nora for the recollection of the money she had borrowed from him.

You don’t mean that you will tell my husband that I owe you money? ” (21). Since Nora was wrong in doing so socially, she could not tell Torvald or anyone else about her problem. Not only would that affect their social standard but also Torvald’s ego, which inevitably would happen anyway. After Krogstad threatens to expose Nora for forging her father’s signature, she realizes that no matter what she does Torvald was going to know the truth. The flaw within this patriarchal framework becomes apparent when Nora discovers that she has no legitimate name of her own.

She can use neither her married name nor her maiden name to borrow money. She finds that she cannot appropriate her father’s name. In other words, as a married woman she has neither authority nor identity. Panic begins to set in and she begins to feel helpless because she has no power to do anything about the situation. In act two Nora continues to act as she is supposed to, as a perfect housewife. She confides in her friend Mrs. Linde about her problem with Krogstad for the first time, which shows that she is starting to break free from Torvald and think for herself.

Knowing that there isn’t much that can be done to prevent Torvald from finding out, she tries to delay him from reading the letters. The climax of the play happens when Torvald does read the first letter Krogstad sent Nora questions (possibly for the first time), and Torvald’s reaction is inappropriate. He treats her with no respect, calls her a liar and is ready to throw their whole marriage away just because his name might be hurt. He refuses to help her in any way, which shows that their marriage really didn’t mean anything much.

What a horrible awakening! All these eight years – she who was my joy and pride – a hypocrite, a liar – worse, worse – a criminal! The unutterable ugliness of it all! For shame! For shame! ” (62). When the second letter came and he found out that his name was saved, he acts as nothing just happened between the two of them and everything was back to normal. “Try and calm yourself and make your mind easy again, my frightened little singing bird. Be at rest and feel secure; I have broad wings to shelter you under. How warm and cosy our home is, Nora.

Here is shelter for you Tomorrow morning you will look upon it all quite differently; soon everything will be just as it was before” (64). Nora realizes that here is a problem still. By waiting until after he discovers that his social status will suffer no harm, Torvald reveals his true feelings, which put appearance, both social and physical, ahead of the wife whom he says he loves. He looked at her as if she were just a possession of his and nothing more. He was more interested in her physically than emotionally. “You have still got the tarantella in your blood, I see. And it makes you more captivating than ever.

Torvald tries to rekindle Nora’s slave sprit in an effort to validate him and to reestablish his dominance over his environment after their argument. Helmer pleads with Nora: “You have loved me as a wife ought to love her husband. Only you had not sufficient knowledge to judge of the means you used. But do you suppose you are any the less dear to me because you don’t understand how to act on your own responsibility? No, no; only lean on me; I will advise and direct you. I should not be a man if this womanly helplessness did not just give you a double attractiveness in my eyes” (64).

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A Doll's House (The Transformation of Nora). (2019, Feb 15). Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://essaysonline.net/a-dolls-house-the-transformation-of-nora/