Nora's Transformation

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Nora's Transformation

It is always wise of one to never judge a person when one is first encountered with them. Nora, the main character in A Doll's House, is a perfect example of such a statement. Nora initially seems like a playful, naïve child who lacks knowledge of the world outside her home. On the other hand, Henrik Ibsen, author of A Doll's House, depicts that she does have some worldly experience, however, and the small acts of rebellion in which she engages indicate that she is not as innocent or happy as she appears. At the beginning of A Doll's House, Nora seems completely happy. She responds affectionately to Torvald's teasing, speaks with excitement about the extra money his new job will provide, and takes pleasure in the company of her children and friends. She does not seem to mind her doll-like existence, in which she is coddled, pampered, and patronized. As the play progresses, Nora reveals that she is not just a "silly girl," as Torvald calls her (Ibsen 1608). That she understands the business details related to the debt she incurred taking out a loan to preserve Torvald's health indicates that she is intelligent and possesses capacities beyond mere wifehood. Her description of her years of secret labor undertaken to pay off her debt shows her fierce determination and ambition. Additionally, the fact that she was willing to break the law in order to ensure Torvald's health shows her courage.

Krogstad's blackmail and the trauma that follows do not change Nora's nature; they open her eyes to her unfulfilled and underappreciated potential. "I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald," she says during her climactic confrontation with him (Ibsen 1630). Nora comes to realize that in addition to her literal dancing and singing tricks, she has been putting on a show throughout her marriage. She has pretended to be someone she is not in order to fulfill the role that Torvald, her father, and society at large have expected of her. Torvald's...
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