A Doll\'s House: Nora Perceived by Other Characters

Nancy Landis Ms. Holmes, p.1 English 12 12 February 1995

In the Victorian age many woman were thought of as mere objects. Most
woman has no real social status and were not allowed to express themselves
freely. A Doll\'s House, a play by Henrik Ibsen, has brought controversy to the
conclusion in which Nora leaves her family. Nora perceived in many different
ways is the catalyst that forces Nora to leave her family. Many people had
found it difficult to understand how Nora could dessert her husband and children.
In the Victorian Age it was not only unheard of to walk out on your loved ones
but unethical as well. There are many incidents that inch by inch helps Nora
come to the conclusion that she must leave her home and family. As Nora states "
My first duty is to myself" (Ibsen 68 ). Her husband, Torvald, treats Nora more
as a possession then an equal partner. He uses, manipulates and molds her to
fit perfectly into his facade. Krogstad, a morally diseased man who works for
Torvald, also uses Nora to gain a higher position at work. He believes herto be
an easy target for blackmail. Nora\'s best childhood friend, Christine Linde,
helps her realize that a woman can think, act and live independently for herself.
As Nora realizes that she must find her true self, the ways in which Krogstad,
Christine and Torvald perceive her dramatically change.
Christine Linde, a woman who has had to live independently since her
husband died, suddenly comes back to visit Nora and finds Nora has not changed
from her childish ways in high school. Nora for an instant does not recognize
her old friend because of the time that has passed since the last time she saw
her. Christine tells Nora of her husband\'s passing and how he did not leave her
any money or "even any sorrow or grief to live upon" (Ibsen 6). She tells Nora
how she had to marry him because of her ailing mother and two younger brothers.
She needed someone who could take care of her and her family financially. Now
she is on her own and looking for a job to support herself. Nora expresses her
sympathies and promptly brags about Torvald\'s promotion at the bank. She is so
excited at the importance of his job and more importantly the money that will
begin to start pouring in. Nora thinks it will be wonderful not having to worry
about money and being able to shop at any time for anything. "Nora, Nora,
haven\'t you learnt any sense yet? In our school days you were a great
spendthrift" (Ibsen 8). Christine tries to point out to Nora that there are
more important things in life to worry about besides money. "Christine, a woman
who has been forced to live in a hard world starts out patronizing Nora" (Rogers
83). She believes Nora is living in a dream world, one that nothing can go
wrong, instead of living in the real world where everything is not always so
perfect. Christine understands that Nora has led a sheltered life for she was
always taken care of, first by her husband and then by Torvald. Nora has never
had her freedom like Christine; she always depended upon someone else.
Christine on the other hand never really had life easy. "She had to marry a man
she did not love for the sake of money - in other words she too had her doll
house" (Hornby 99). For most of her life, Christine was responsible for someone.
She never had the luxury of depending upon anyone and therefore became more
cynical of the world.
As Christine gets better acquainted with Nora she begins to realize that
Nora is not what she seems; Instead her true inner feelings and thoughts are
smothered by Torvald\'s domineering views. When Nora tells Christine about the
money she borrowed, Christine does not understand because a woman is not allowed
by law to borrow money. Nora answers "humming and smiling with an air of
mystery, Couldn\'t I? Why not?" (Ibsen 12). Christine is shocked at this
information and can not believe that Nora would defy her husband. "Christine
too is inclined to treat Nora as a kitten that has never known trouble. Not
unnaturally Nora is piqued into revealing that she is not such a child after all.
Seven years ago she saved her husbands life by borrowing money" (Ibsen and
Strindberg 139). "You are just