A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.
Why should you care about what Torvald Helmer says in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House? Analysis · Questions · Quizzes · Flashcards · Best of the Web · Write Essay · Teaching HELMER: "Well, we will share it, Nora, as man and wife should. Helmers' relationship seems to be more like a father and a daughter than a. Q. Why did Torvald leave his home country? Q. What does Torvald tease Nora about at the beginning of the play? to renew her relationship with Krogstad. Torvald and Nora's first conversation establishes Torvald as the member of What insight does this contradiction give us into Torvald and Nora's relationship?.
In order to find out who she is and what she wants, Nora has to reject the life that society prescribes for her as a wife and mother, and strike out on her own. The nineteenth century saw a huge shift from the old social order of self-improvement within a stable rural society to a new social order founded on money.
But women at the time could not control money without the authority of the man who 'owned' them, be it husband, brother or father. Single and lone women like Mrs Linde had more control over their lives and money than married women, who were discouraged from taking jobs and had to surrender money matters to their husbands. But as Mrs Linde's story shows, having no male 'provider' brought its own problems. In sum, women had little power.
Power lay with people like Torvald, who is a banker and lawyer. Torvald is able to dictate the fate not only of his family but of Mrs Linde by giving her a job and Krogstad by giving away his job. He is gratified by the prospect of sacking Krogstad because he disapproves of his morality.
In effect, the Torvalds of this world defined morality. As we have seen with regard to Nora's crime, they also defined the law, and therefore, who was a criminal.
It is worth noting that Ibsen based the episode of Nora's forgery on a similar 'crime' committed by a female friend of his, which ended tragically for her, so he was drawing attention to what he saw as a genuine social problem. He supported economic reform that would protect women's property and befriended European feminists. Other social issues addressed in the play include how women should be educated, both for the responsibilities of family and for self-fulfillment; the right of women to define their role in the family and society; the degrading effects of poverty on self-fulfillment as with Mrs Linde and the Nurse ; and the scourge of venereal disease as suffered by Dr Rank.
How do different characters use the words "free" and "freedom"? How does the use of these words change throughout the play? It is Torvald who introduces the concept of freedom in the play, claiming that "There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. He is also adopting society's values, as debt was disapproved of and considered a sign of moral degeneracy. The dramatic irony behind his words lies in the fact that Torvald would not have any life at all if his wife had not gone into debt, though he does not realize this.
Like Torvald, Krogstad sees freedom as moral respectability in the eyes of society. His job at the bank is the means by which he will "cut [himself] free" from the stigma of his "indiscretion" of forgery. The problem with this approach is that his "freedom" depends upon the whim of his employer, who also sits in moral judgment on him and can withdraw his job if he finds that he falls short in that respect.
A Doll's House, Part 2 (Play) Plot & Characters | StageAgent
Mrs Linde feels proud that by working hard, she was able to support her brothers and mother, and "I was privileged to make the end of my mother's life almost free from care. But she is operating at a lower economic level than he is. She is talking of being able to provide the necessities of life, whereas he is talking of the relative luxury of being free from debt. In Act 1, Nora is delighted that soon she will have paid off her debt to Krogstad and will be "free from care, quite free from care; to be able to play and romp with the children; to be able to keep the house beautifully and have everything just as Torvald likes it!
By the end of Act 2, Krogstad's letter revealing Nora's debt and forgery of her father's signature is sitting in Torvald's letterbox. Nora, who fears yet hopes that Torvald will shield her by taking the entire blame upon himself, means to disappear or commit suicide, thereby saving him from disgrace.
At the end of the play, Nora has been awakened to Torvald's narrow-mindedness and no longer sees freedom in terms of bondage to him or obliteration of herself. On the contrary, she defines freedom for herself and Torvald as complete independence from each other, as she leaves the marriage to forge a new life for herself: You are not to feel yourself bound in the slightest way, any more than I shall. There must be perfect freedom on both sides. Torvald repeatedly teases Nora about her spending, and at one point Mrs.
Linde points out that Nora was a big spender in her younger days.
These initial comments paint Nora as a shallow woman who is overly concerned with -material delights. He considers these things important to his reputation, and keeping up this reputation requires money. Although Torvald accuses Nora of wasting money, Nora spends her money mostly on worthy causes, whereas Torvald uses his for selfish, shallow purposes. Why does Torvald constantly reprimand Nora for her wastefulness and foolishness while simultaneously supporting her behavior?
In Act One, Torvald teases Nora about wasting money but then tries to please her by graciously giving her more. He clearly enjoys keeping Nora in a position where she cannot function in the world without him, even if it means that she remains foolish. When Nora begins to dance the tarantella wildly in Act Two, he is unsettled.
In Act One, Nora says that it would humiliate Torvald if he knew he was secretly in debt to her for his life, indicating that Torvald wants the power in his marriage to be one-sided rather than mutual. Compare and contrast Mrs. Linde and Nora at the end of the play.
By the end of Act Three, both Nora and Mrs. Linde have entered new phases in their lives. Nora has chosen to abandon her children and her husband because she wants independence from her roles as mother and wife. Linde has chosen to abandon her independence to marry Krogstad and take care of his family. She likes having people depend on her, and independence does not seem to fulfill her. They have both chosen their own fates, freely and without male influence.Nora: a short film responding to Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House
Ibsen seems to feel that the nature of their choices is not as important as the fact that both women make the choices themselves. Using specific examples, discuss how Ibsen's "progress from one work to the other" is due to a "perpetual scrutiny of the same general questions regarded from different points of view.
- A Doll's House
- A Doll's House Quiz
To defend your view, cite dramatic themes in these plays which you consider to be universal, or limited in scope. Krogstad tells Nora that he is leaving a letter in her mailbox for Torvald explaining what Nora has done.
A Doll's House Summary
When Krogstad leaves, Nora asks Kristine if she can talk to Krogstad about retrieving his letter then Nora tries to keep her husband from finding it by asking him to help her practice dancing the tarantella for the upcoming party.
In act three Mrs. Linde has found Krogstad, and while she's talking to him about retrieving his letter, it comes out that Kristine and Krogstad once had a relationship. Kristine had to leave him for a more stable prospect, but since her husband has died, she would like to get back together with Krogstad.
Krogstad is overjoyed at this news and says he will retrieve his letter, but Kristine tells him not to. She says that Torvald needs to find out about Nora's secret. Kristine returns to tell Nora that Krogstad won't be getting his letter just after Nora dances at the party.
Nora's husband joins her, then Dr. He leaves his business card with a symbol on it that indicates he is going to lock himself into his house until he dies. Torvald is upset and takes the mail to go read it. After he learns the news, he runs back out of his office to find out from Nora if it's true.
She says they need to sit down for a serious conversation.
A Doll's House Quiz
He insults her, completely disappointed in her decisions, blaming her father for her bad morals. Then a new letter arrives from Krogstad. It contains the contract and says that he is letting them off the hook. Torvald is elated and tears up the letter. He tells Nora he forgives her, and he will take close care of her in the future. Nora, however, explains to him that she needs to leave him. She is disappointed with the way she has been treated by men in her life.
She needs to live on her own in order to discover who she is and what she believes. Torvald is appalled that she would leave her own children, just as audiences as the time would be, but Nora says she needs to do what is best for her.
Torvald wonders if she will ever come back to him, and she leaves it open as a possibility.