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A Doll’s House: Nora Helmer

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Essay title: A Doll’s House: Nora Helmer

In the play A Dolls House by Henrick Ibsen gives us a glance of what it was like In the late 1800's to early 1900's. It was very common place for a woman to leave her parents only after she was wed. Women took there place in the home and did as they were told. It was not uncommon for them to have no opinion of their own or to assert an opinion.

The play opens on the day before Christmas. Nora returns home from shopping; although her husband is anticipating a promotion and raise, he still chides her excessive spending. In response, Nora flirts, pouts, and cajoles her husband as a child might and indeed Torvald addresses her as he might a child. Later that same day Mrs. Linde comes for a visit. Nora has not seen her dear friend in a long time and they have a lot of catching up to do. Nora confides in Mrs. Linde about some money that she borrowed from krogstag, a man that works for her husband at the bank. Krogstag has a shady past yet he is trying so hard to make a better life for him and his sons. Mrs. Linde's then confides in Nora that she married a rich man so that she could take care of her sick mother and her brother. She tells Nora that he passed away three years ago and left her penniless and that she has came to her hoping that she would talk to her husband about getting her a job. Krogstad also comes by for a visit to tell Nora she needs to repay him sooner or he will be forced to tell her husband. Nora does get Mrs. Linde a job but later finds out that it was Krogstad's job and that her husband fired him. After Krogstad is dismissed from his post at the bank he comes back and demands Nora get him his job back. He explains to Nora that he knows she forged her fathers name on the note and that if she does not get his job back for him he will be forced to reveal this to her husband. Nora pleads with Torvald to reinstate Krogstad, but he refuses. She is frantic, imagining that once Krogstad reveals the truth, Torvald will himself assume the blame for the forgery and be ruined. After hearing that Trovald will not reinstate his job Krogstad slips a letter into the lock box explaining everything to Torvald.

Nora, is the beloved, adored wife of Torvald Helmer. He is an admirable man, rigidly honest, of high moral ideals, and as it seems passionately devoted to his wife and children. Nora considers herself fortunate to be married to such a wonderful man. Indeed, she worships her husband, believes in him and is sure that if ever her safety should be compromised, Torvald, would perform the miracle of miracles. When a woman loves as Nora does, nothing else matters; least of all, social, legal or moral considerations. Therefore, when her husband's falls ill, there is no question in Nora's mind for her to go behind her his back and forge her father's name to a note to borrow money in order to take her sick husband to Italy.

Nora is light-hearted and friendly woman and she does not seem to have an identity of her own. Her husband does not call her by her name but instead he calls her by pet names he has given her, squirrel, Sky-Lark song bird. He calls her these because of the way she is, she sings and dances like a bird and hides treats like a squirrel. This may not seem so bad, everyone seems to have pet names for there loved ones. In this case Nora struggles with her identity so much that she will even refer to herself with these pet names. Nora is treated like a child in her home being told she can not have sweets and treats, even though she has bore three children. She is patted on the head and looked down upon, she is not involved in the matters of the home except for when it comes to the children and the housekeeping, and she is not even allowed to check the mail. Her purpose in life is to be happy for her husband's sake, for the sake of the children; to sing, dance, and play with them. Nora does just that, for this is all she knows. Her husband seems to let her think she has some control over him but in fact he is very aware of everything she does except for her one true deceit.

When Nora first got introduced I thought of her as a materialistic person when Torvald asks what his precious "squirrel" wants for a Christmas present, Nora quickly asks him for money. Is it to buy frilly dresses and useless trinkets? Or does she spend it all on sweets that she stashes away for no one to find. We soon find out that what Nora does she does for her husband.

When Nora is confronted by Krogstad about going to her husband to tell him she is a forger and a liar she does not fear for herself, only for Torvald. She now knows the true ramifications of her actions, the loss of her husband, the public humiliation, and the possibility that she could go to jail. She would do anything to spare her husband the humility of what she has done. Nora has always tried to do the right thing, always living

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