A Doll's House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, is a play that uses the matrimony of a female called Nora and her hubby Torvald. It is set around The holiday season in "an appropriate room, equipped inexpensively, but with taste. " (p147) Among the central themes in the play is Nora's quest of self finding. Once the play starts, the audience views Nora as a juvenile housewife with little understanding of the means of life, although by the end of the last act, she becomes a single-minded girl determined to educate herself.
As the name of the play suggests, Nora is a 'doll', trapped in a doll's house. She is an average nineteenth hundred years Victorian housewife surviving in a patriarchal culture, dominated by men. In the beginning of the first action, when Nora arrives home after she's been out shopping, Torvald accuses her of being "up to mischief today" (p151). He asks her "didn't Little Sweet-Tooth" "nibble on a macaroon or two?" This immediately shows Nora's limited self-reliance and lack of flexibility as even simple rights such as what she can and cannot eat are limited by her spouse. In addition, it shows the dishonesty in their romantic relationship as Nora direct out is to Torvald about the macaroons the audience appreciates she's been eating.
Torvald and Nora's relationship is more similar compared to that of a daddy and child than of the couple. Torvald's doll like treatment towards her is reflective of the childish treatment she recently received from her father. The demeaning labels such as "featherbrain", "little song-bird", "my little skylark" and "scatterbrain" (p148) that Torvald uses when communicating with her, also suggest Nora's unintelligence and his dominance.
In the last action, Nora realises that throughout their relationship, Torvald and herself have "never exchanged a significant term on any serious subject matter. " (p225) Although, when she confronts him relating to this, Torvald replies "but, Nora dearest, what good would that contain gone to you?" He thinks, because so many men of the time would have, that Nora doesn't need to be involved in anything serious as she actually is merely a girl.
Nora confesses a profound secret when she is reunited with a vintage friend, Kristina. She instructs Kristina that when her father died, he didn't actually leave her money to pay for the trip to Italy that preserved Torvald's life and "it was [her] who brought up the amount of money. " (p159) When Nora is telling Kristina this she promises "I've something to be pleased with", this makes her appear as if she actually is bragging about how exactly wonderful a deed it was, making her appear childish. It can however, be seen as a strength of Nora's as she travelled against society and risked her better half status in order to save the person she enjoys. The audience realises that she is much less helpless as she was actually recognized to be.
Throughout the play, it is really as if Nora is living in a childish dream where everything is faultless. Her matrimony to Torvald consists of him providing her with generous amounts of money that she wastes on various bits and pieces. He feels that Nora only needs protection and amusement, because so many women were thought to need. This indicates a materialistic romantic relationship with no real depth. Their relationship, Nora later realises has been of suitability and an element of public need for Torvald. As she says to him "you don't understand me. And I've never realized you - until tonight. " (p224) There is certainly nothing under the surface of what is apparently their matrimony.
When Torvald reads the notice Krogstad had written him outlining Nora's wrongdoings, he is outraged declaring Nora has "completely wrecked [his] enjoyment. " (p221) Although despite his anger, he says to Nora, "we should seem to be on once again. . . but only in the eyes of the world of course. " This implies that their matrimony has been predicated on cultural reputation as even when Torvald recognizes their marriage as over, he still needs to maintain the looks of the matrimony to culture.
Nora realises that she's "been dreadfully wronged - first by Papa, and then by [Torvald]". Throughout her relationship with Torvald she has been his "doll-wife" as she was her father's "doll-child" before. She has never been her own person as her daddy "used to tell [her] his opinion about everything, therefore [she] possessed the same impression. " She was required to defend myself against the characteristics of her father as if she thought in different ways "he wouldn't have liked it. " (p225) This shows how Nora is confined by the male affects around her.
When Krogstad claims "the law is not worried about motives", Nora replies "then it must be a very stupid legislations. " (p175) This shows how Nora is little informed as she is aware little about the entire world around her. She believes that "a partner [has] the to save her husband's life" despite any crimes she must commit to conserve him. As this is not mostly true, Nora realises that the planet is a much more complicated place then what she acquired thought it to be.
At the finish of the play when Nora's 'miracle' doesn't happen, she realises that she has "lived by performing steps for [Torvald]. " (p226) The tarantella is a good exemplory case of Nora executing for Torvald. When practicing, she says him "Torvald dear; criticize me, and show me where I'm wrong, how you always do. " (p203) This demonstrates Nora's need to satisfy him. Shortly after Nora has danced for her life, Torvald brings her downstairs to fulfill his wants. When Kristina strolls into the room, Torvald needs Nora's shawl off declaring "yes, just check out her! She's worth discovering, if you ask me! Isn't she lovely, Mrs Linde?" This implies that to Torvald, Nora is only something that he is able to show off to culture.
When Nora involves conditions that her marriage with Torvald is a lie, she realises that she must leave him. As she becomes aware that the entire world is a very different place from what she thought it to be, she realises that to become able to understand the ways of the globe "[she] must try to inform [herself]" (p227) into a mature woman.
At enough time, society would have been outraged at Nora for departing her "most sacred obligation" (p227) behind. When Nora walks out on Torvald, she is not just giving him behind; she is also going out of her children behind. As Nora says "before everything else [she's] a individual" therefore she must care for herself before she does anyone else.