A Doll’s House

Length: 2 Pages 550 Words

A Doll’s House is an ideal title for Henrik Ibsen’s play. Torvald Helmer does indeed dominate his wife Nora like a doll. He talks to her condescendingly like one would to a child, but beneath the exterior of sweet-talk and pet names, he is a man who controls his wife’s life. There is something sinister about him. When Nora brings home her Christmas shopping, he scolds her for spending too much money. The way he says it, though he calls her his “little songbird,” it sounds like a veiled threat not to misbehave. Torvald treats her like a child, believing her to be like one. He thinks women do not have the sense and intelligence to properly handle matters such as money. So he believes Nora to be just as foolish, and treats her as such. When he gives Nora more money after reprimanding her, he is rea Continue...

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With the decisive slam of a door, she leaves Torvald and the life she's led, forever. He humors her and she is happy, like when a dog excitedly wags its tail when it is given a piece of food after waiting a long time. lly manipulating her to amuse himself. After all, he does call her animal names, which serves to dehumanize her. Not once is Nora shown doing something motherly or wifely; instead she is chatting up old friends, coming back from shopping, and getting ready for a costume party. That is mainly what Torvald cares about - keeping up the appearance of perfection, including his perfect wife. Nora is basically a naive woman who does not take life seriously and gets herself into trouble when she tries to do something on her own. Through all his actions, Torvald keeps Nora under his thumb, completely possessing and minimizing her like an object. He says that Nora has ruined his reputation through such a despicable act. One piece of dialogue captures her character perfectly: "Dear God, what a lovely thought this is! To be able to play and have fun with the children, to have everything nice and pretty in the house, just the way Torvald likes it! Not a care! Torvald eventually finds out about the loan and forgery from Krogstad's letter and flies into a rage. She seems care-free and frivolous, as though being a homemaker, wife and mother is a game, the way little girls play House. Nora knows doing anything displeasing might bring on his dissatisfaction, so she does everything she can to keep him happy. She lives in a fantasy world sustained by her husband. Nora is very naive and child-like, of course, since her husband never lets her grow up and be independent.