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A Doll's House: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive Reports & Essays · Ask Question · Tutor's Market Place · How It Works The Helmer marriage appears loving, but turns out to be based on lies, Dr Rank acts the role of friend to Torvald and Nora, but we later discover the true. A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, is a well written play portraying women's struggle for Torvald and Nora's relationship appears to be more of a father- daughter. In A Doll House, we see that Torvald Helmer, the lawyer, is a condescending, .. The truth means ruination in Nora and Torvald's marriage in A Doll's House.

Instead they look at the whole picture; is the person going somewhere, are they goal oriented, are they stable and smart with their money. And let's be honest everything becomes a little less expensive with a simple I do. The ideal marriage is based on a combination of both romance and security.

Loveless Marriage: A Look at Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" | Owlcation

Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" displays three viewpoints of marriage; one of fantasy, one for security, and the other is a model of a true marriage. Henrik Ibsen Source Torvald's idea of marriage is one of fantasy. Before the party Torvald wants his wife, Nora, to dress up "as a Neapolitan peasant girl". He dresses her up because that's what he wants her to be. He acts as if Nora isn't even a person, but a doll or his own personal sex toy.

At the party he pretends his wife's his "secret bride-to-be" and "no one suspects anything between them". Torvald imagines that they are secret lovers and he can't wait to ravish her once they are away from the crowd: All this evening I've longed for nothing but you.

When I saw you turn and sway in the tanantella-my blood was pounding till I couldn't stand it-that's why I brought you down here so early-". When reading this passage one imagines what some guys fantasize about: Princess Laya in a bikini.

That's what most guys do; imagine their wife as a fantasized image of what they want erotically. Torvald seems to need this to become aroused by his wife. He shouldn't need a fantasy to get in the mood; his wife should be all he needs.

Sure some people role play to spice things up, but they are both usually involved in collaborating on the fantasy and here Torvald is making all the decisions and his wife must obey. Throughout the play Torvald constantly views his wife as something to be admired. In the play he calls her a "lark", a "squirrel", and a "nymph". Even on a non-sexual level he still imagines his wife as something she's not.

During the party he describes her as a "dream of loveliness" and says she's "worth looking at".

A Doll's House Jane Fonda Final Scene

Torvald looks at Nora and admires her, he doesn't love her. He doesn't know her well enough to love her because he can't get past the fantasy image. Nora is only a trophy in the eyes of her husband and nothing more. Henrik Ibsen Source Whoever has the power controls the marriage, or at least that's Nora's idea of marriage. Nora's way to have control is in her sex appeal. As I displayed earlier Torvald thrives on this. Nora seems aware of the power she contains and also realizes that once she ages and her sex appeal disintegrates, she will have to find something else to dangle in front of her husband.

That's where the loan comes in to play. In the conversation between her and Kristine, Nora thinnks about telling Torvald about the loan: Won't you ever tell him? Nora thoughtfully, half smiling: There is a true story, in which Ibsen himself was involved, behind A Doll's House. It is the story of Laura Kieler, who had written a novel in the s, Brand's Daughters, and got to know the Ibsens - Ibsen called her his "skylark".

In she sent the manuscript of another novel, hoping Ibsen would recommend it. He thought it was very bad and said so.

She needed money because she had borrowed - as Nora does in the play - to take her tubercular husband to Italy to "save his life". On receiving Ibsen's letter she forged a cheque, was discovered, and treated like a criminal by her husband, who committed her to a lunatic asylum, taking her back only grudgingly.

He writes, among other things: It is an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint"; "A mother in modern society, like certain insects, retires and dies once she has done her duty by propagating the race. The play was published in book form and sold a large number of copies. Ibsen made most of his money from sales of books rather than stage performances - plays in those days, even when successful, ran for only short periods.

Its first English theatre production was in with Janet Achurch as Nora. The play is very different read as one would read a novel, to what it is when staged with a beautiful and sympathetic actress as Nora. This is because every time I read the play I find myself judging Nora with less and less sympathy. The play is, as is frequently pointed out, flawlessly constructed - there is not a wasted word, and every scene tightens the noose around Nora's neck.

There is a tragic inevitability to the way in which her "crime" is brought into the open. But with the same momentum she displays a silliness and insensitivity that are also part of her downfall. At the beginning she is lying to Torvald about the macaroons he has forbidden and she has concealed. This could be comic but is part of a tissue of lies and evasions that make up her life.

A Doll's House: Theme Analysis

Whether these lies are a function of social pressures or Nora's own nature is left to us to determine. Hedda Gabler, another married woman doomed to triviality, resorts to malice and cruelty. When Mrs Linde appears with her tale of hardship and poverty, Nora flutters and fails to imagine what she is talking about. She says "You must tell me everything" and immediately embarks on the narrative of her own money problems - which are to do with a luxurious holiday for a well-off couple, not the impossibility of making ends meet.

She then speaks to Krogstad, who lent her the money and is now in danger of losing his job at Helmer's bank because of a comparable "indiscretion". Krogstad points out that she forged her father's signature.

Nora says she could not have told her dying father of the threat to her husband's life. Then you would have been wiser to have given up your idea of a holiday.

It was to save my husband's life. I couldn't put it off. But didn't it occur to you that you were being dishonest towards me? I couldn't bother about that. I didn't care about you. I hated you because of all the beastly difficulties you'd put in my way when you knew how dangerously ill my husband was. Here Nora is archetypally Hegel's woman, seeing things only in terms of her own place in her own family. But she is also incapable - as a human being - of imagining Krogstad.

One of the scenes I find most moving is Nora's brief exchange with Anne-Marie, the nurse. Rich, or comfortably-off, women such as Nora are mothers - but all Nora does with her children is romp before they are put to bed. Women like Nora relied on women like Anne-Marie to do the basic mothering.

And Anne-Marie, like so many others, is, as she says, "a poor girl what's got into trouble and can't afford to pick and choose. Tell me, Anne-Marie - I've so often wondered. How could you bear to give your child away - to strangers? But I had to, when I came to nurse my little Miss Nora But your daughter must have completely forgotten you.

Oh no, indeed she hasn't. She's written to me twice, once when she got confirmed and then again when she got married.

Nora is not really thinking about Anne-Marie - she is imagining the scenario if she is forced to give up her own children.

This has made her see Anne-Marie a little better. Throughout A Doll's House there are reminders that there are fates and hardships much worse than anything in the Helmer household, which is no more than a doll's house.

One of Helmer's most absurd and revealing moments is when he sneers at Mrs Linde's knitting on which she depends for a living and tells her she should do embroidery - "it's much prettier". Look - arms all huddled up - great clumsy needles going up and down - makes you look like a damned Chinaman. First she expresses "relief" when he tells her his bad news is about himself.

Then when he tells her that "within a month I may be rotting up there in the churchyard", she says: And I did hope you'd be in a good mood.

AS Byatt on the heroine of Ibsen's A Doll's House | Stage | The Guardian

Instead of which he tells her that he loves her, and her feminine ethic forbids her to ask him for the loan. It is dramatically complex and there are many ways for an actress to negotiate it, requiring more or less sympathy from the watching audience.

But the truth is - however we sympathise with the trap she is in - Nora is not a very sympathetic woman. Others - including other women made up by Ibsen - would have had more human sympathy, more capacity for imagining other people.