In Henick Ibsenr’s story, Ibsen attacks the issue of social normative during the time period of the play and an unlikely story of how Nora breaks those standards. A Dollr’s House displays a wealthy family with a typical domestic system with a working husband and a stay at home mom and how one problem changed that whole lifestyle. Throughout the story, Nora displays herself as a dynamic character through her change in the feelings of her role in her family, her change in her view of her marriage, and a change on how she should view her place in the world.
At the beginning of the play, a typical household in 1879 where the husband does most of the work while the wife stays at home and her purpose is to care for the children. Before the play begins When one of Torvaldr’s workers Krogstad believes his job is in danger, he reveals to Nora that he is in possession of a contract that Nora forged her fatherr’s signature and threatens to blackmail her. Nora tries to reason with Torvald but he dislikes Krogstad for all the things that Nora has done behind his back. Dr. Rank, Torvaldr’s best friend, reveals he will be dying soon and confesses his love for Nora which catches her by surprise. Torvald eventually fires Krogstad because he cannot stand being in his presence. Krogstad storms to the house demanding an explanation for why he was fired and leaves the letter exposing Nora. Nora is able to keep Torvald away from the letter for 31 hours and sends Mrs. Linde to go talk to Krogstad. Krogstad and Mrs. Linde rekindle their romance while letting Torvald see the letter to try to help Nora see how bad their marriage is. Once Torvald reads the letter and soon tells Nora he cant raise her kids, the maid brings the contract and Torvald rips it up and apologizes to her. Nora has a moment of self-realization and decides to leave Torvald as she believes he treats her like a doll. While Nora has this moment of realization, one of her first big changes is the way she views her role in her family.
While Nora does experience many changes throughout the play, one of her big changes is how she views her role in her family. For the time period, it is often regarded as that the man is the one who works while the woman stays at home and raises the kids. In Act One Norar’s main focus is taking care of her kids and Torvald believes that if she does immoral actions that her children will become corrupt (27). Norar’s role is clearly stated by Torvald as just raising the kids and making sure that they become productive people and not corrupted. After Norar’s secret comes out and Torvald tries to convince Nora to stay, Nora takes a completely different stance on her family. As Nora is about to leave she states, Good-by, Torvald. I don’t see the little ones. I know they are in better hands than mine. As I am now, i can be of no use to them (71). Nora goes from being the only one raising the kids to completely leaving them to Torvald. This is an example of a big change in her character as she completely goes against the social normative of the time. While not only does she have a large change in her role of the family, she takes on a large change in the view of her marriage.
Throughout the play, Nora goes from staying at home and taking care of the kids as a wife in the family to taking control of her life and walking out on Torvald. Nora is seen in Act 1 making all of her decisions dependant on Torvald and always being dominated on by him. When Nora tries to reason with Torvald about keeping Krogstad on at the bank, he completely dismisses her opinion and automatically assumes that he is right. When she tries to question why he thinks a certain way he dominates the conversation and files for Krogstadr’s dismissal (36). Her obedience to Torvald is greatly shown as she never disagrees with him or tries to have a serious conversation with him about trying to keep Krogstad. Rather he does what he feels is right and doesnt give Nora the time of day. After Torvald tries to take back his words and believe everything is alright, Nora has another change in her personality. When Torvald tries to deny Nora from leaving she says, It is no use forbidding me anything any longer. I will take with me what belongs to myself. I will take nothing from you, either now or later (68). Nora standing up to Torvald brings a big change in her character as she goes from being dependent to standing up to Torvaldr’s dominance and doing orders against his will. While not only does her view on their marriage change, her view on Torvald changes during the play.
Nora displays herself as a dynamic character mainly through her change in how she views Torvald. Nora always viewed Torvald with great respect and obedience as she respected him for getting a promotion at the bank. However, she always feared Torvald finding out about her secret and goes to any lengths to prevent it seen through her continued commitment trying to keep Krogstad employed. However, her views completely change after Torvald lashes out on her for her forgery and she begins to realize her feelings for him as he tries to make up for the mistake he just made. Nora states, When I was at home with Papa he told me his opinions about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child. And when I came to you I just transferred hands (66). Her comparison to her as a doll in Torvaldr’s hands is a complete change to her ways of following Torvald before and she has a complete change in her feelings towards Torvald. Nora displays herself as a dynamic character not only through her change with Torvald but also with her change in her view of her marriage and her view on her family.
A Dollr’s House, while not directly stated as a feminist story, proves to be one through the strong actions of Nora. Norar’s choice to leave everything behind is completely different for her time and she proves that feminism did exist early on. Nora proves time and time again that she is the story’s dynamic character through her many changes in the story.
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