Nora in A Doll’s House: Character Analysis

The literary heritage of Henrik Ibsen counts lots of dramatic works, which appear to be very popular and bringing up the problems of today. Actually, the matters, brought up within his works are eternal. So, the books are really worth reading and analyzing. In Ibsen’s dramatic writings the several storylines are interlaced to finally bring to the opening of a certain conflict, found within the story. Among other conflicts, there is a so-called feministic one, which arose in Ibsen’s time. The work “Doll’s House” is not an exception as the characters, depicted in the story are facing problems, through which the reader is able to explore crucial topics, implied by Ibsen. One of the main characters of the story, namely Nora, is a developing personage, who managed to reveal her real personality, breaking the standards of the society of her time.

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Firstly the reader comes across Nora as a model wife, though she is a limited person yet. As every wife, she has some duties. For example, she is to raise her children and sometimes play with them (the servant is to do the rest, including the upbringing), she is not to spend much money and take care of her husband. She is seemingly happy and satisfied, though she has a secret, she is concealing the truth as it might destroy her wellbeing and her family. On this stage Nora appears as a beautiful bird, yet, she is like in the golden cage, limited by rods, even if they are gold. Her obedience and submission to the public rules make her a good wife in the public site, while she might not strive for this type of family.

Next, the author explores the case with the promotion of Torvald to a high-paid position in a bank, where Nora appears in another psychological stage. As soon as being promoted, he receives blackmail. An unknown person demanded a reward, otherwise, everybody would get to know the secret, which Nora keeps sacredly. Once, she is dishonest way received money to save Torvalds life. If somebody gets to know about this secret, then it would be the end for both Torvald’s career and his name as an honest and dignified man. He is extremely discontent with his wife’s act and he wants to deprive Nora of their children and family. This is an interesting device, used by the author, which flashes the memory back to the time when Nora had to act somehow or not to act. Being a clever woman, she saved her husband’s life, revealing not what she was expected to be like, but her real nature. This stage of her personal development, though happened sometime earlier than the first one, shows, that the development within herself was on a higher level than sometime later.

The final part of the novel reveals the real Nora. The author, being able to keep his reader in suspense, puts an unexpected moment to the play. The blackmailer declines his demand and apologizes for doing that. That is the moment of enlightenment for Torvald. He understands how wrong he was acting toward his wife and comes home to apologize. Nevertheless, he is late with this decision as Nora has understood that she has been living with a strange man. He is the one, who drops you at the first opportunity to harm his own wellbeing. She does not feel like living together with this stranger anymore and after the words of reproach and regret, she states her intentions to leave her family. When Torvald mentions her duty to society, she replies that she has been a toy in the hands of a silly kid (her husband) and that this type of life reminds her of a doll’s house. She does not want to be a toy anymore and leaves. Nora’s personality is strong and her character is firm as never. She manages to reflect the real personality at the end of the play only and opens his husband’s eyes to the deceitful standards of the society of today. That is her first self-determined choice made in her whole life. Consequently, Nora is a woman, reflecting a feministic problem, which troubled lots of women of Ibsen’s time.

Inferring, it might be said that Ibsen, like no other play writer, managed to combine the complex lines, piercing the plot of his stories. Many problems, crucial for Ibsen’s time are continuing to be the question of today, like the arising at that time feminist problem, money matters, and so on. The issues brought up in Ibsen’s works are eternal thanks to their vitality. In the work “Doll’s House” the protagonist Nora Helmer appears to reveal her true nature, reflecting the problems of her society and cultivating herself as a personality. Firstly, the reader comes across the obedient, yet limited Nora, then through the flashback she is revealed as a person, able to make decisions, and finally, she is a mature personality, who manages to give a dare to the deceitful society and its standards. The crucial themes, revealed in the text are still somehow relevant and applicable today. The heroine of the play “Doll’s House” is a bird, who escaped from her golden cage.

Works Cited

Sylvan Barnet & William E. Burto & William E. (2007). Cain Literature for Composition: Essays, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (8th Edition). Longman.

Henrik Ibsen (2007). A Doll’s House. Filiquarian.

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