A DOLLS HOUSE

Nancy Landis
Ms. Holmes, p.1
English 12
12 February 1995
Nora Perceived by Other Characters
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 Doll¹s 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 ³ My first duty is to myself² (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 her to be an easy target for blackmail. Nora¹s 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 husband¹s passing and how he did not leave her any money or ³even any sorrow or grief to live upon² (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 Torvald¹s 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. ³Nora, Nora, haven¹t you learnt any sense yet? In our school days you were a great spendthrift² (Ibsen 8). Christine tries to point out to Nora that there are more important things in life to worry about besides money. ³Christine, a woman who has been forced to live in a hard world starts out patronizing Nora² (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. ³She had to marry a man she did not love for the sake of money - in other words she too had her doll house² (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 Torvald¹s 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 ³humming and smiling with an air of mystery, Couldn\'t I? Why not?² (Ibsen 12). Christine is shocked at this information and can not believe that Nora would defy her