Character Analysis: A Doll's House

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Joey Doey
Professor Erika Solberg
English 110
Drama Essay: Final Draft
November 1, 2003
Why Nora Should Leave Torvald
In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House, Nora and Torvald Helmer are a married couple who are not on the same page. Torvald thinks that the marriage is perfectly fine, but Nora is not happy. Nora has many feelings that have built up inside of her throughout their marriage. They all come out toward the end of the play. Staying close is vital in marriage, without love there should not be marriage, and independence can be more valuable than dependence. Marriage is supposed to be a life-long bond, but equality overrides this bond. Nora should leave Torvald.

First, If there is no closeness, the marriage should end. In the play, the lack of closeness between Nora and Torvald comes across first by what Nora says. In the final scene, Nora realizes that she and Torvald have grown apart: “Torvald – in that instant it dawned on me that for eight years I’ve been living here with a stranger…” (1557). The word “stranger” directly suggests that Nora and Torvald have grown apart because she sees him as someone she does not know at all. Nora also indicates she is no longer close to Torvald when she says: “It was this evening when the miraculous thing didn’t come – then I knew you weren’t the man I’d imagined” (1557). Nora had an image of who she thought Torvald was, and when that image turns out to be wrong, any closeness she may have felt disappears. Not only does Nora states she does not feel close to Torvald, but Torvald’s own words show the gap that exists between them. For example, Torvald does not understand what is most important to Nora: NORA: What do you think are my most sacred vows?

HELMER: And I have to tell you that! Aren’t they your duties to your husband and children? NORA: I have other duties equally sacred.
HELMER: That isn’t true. What are they?
NORA: Duties to myself....
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