Honesty in Marriage
In A Doll’s House, Ibsen uses role reversal between Nora and Christine to show the importance of honesty in a good marriage versus dishonesty. Nora and Torvald have the dishonest marriage and that proves to turn out badly for their relationship in the end. Christine remained an honest person and ended up with a rekindled relationship with her old love.
At the very beginning, everything seems fine with Torvald and Nora if Nora’s initial act of dishonesty is ignored. Torvald calls to her first. “When did my squirrel come home?” (Act I) Right after answering him, Nora does her best to hide the macaroons she had eaten against Torvald’s wishes by stuffing the bag in her pocket and frantically wiping the evidence from her mouth. All is seemingly well between them besides Nora’s lack of willpower against cookies. When Christine comes on the scene, she is alone. She has come to where Nora lives to find work (even though she feels overworked). She is completely honest about her situation with Nora though. From the beginning Christine seems to have nothing to hide. She explains how she spent her life taking care of her family and how she no longer has someone to care for other than herself.
Later in the play, when Nora and Torvald go to the party, Nora’s mind is less on dancing the Tarantella and more on the letter Krogstad had written for Torvald. In the letter was the truth about how Nora was able to pay for Torvald’s treatment in Paris. All this time, Torvald was thinking the money came from Nora’s father when in reality, Nora illegally forged her father’s name in order to obtain a loan from the bank at which Krogstad was employed. Nora broke to law by doing business without a man and had not notified her husband. Now Nora is doing her best to stall Torvald in hope of not letting him read his letter from his letterbox. She does her best to be subtle by begging to stay at the party longer. Torvald refuses to give in to...
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