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Childish Behavior

By Banks236 Oct 07, 2008 840 Words
Childish Behavior

In the play "A Doll House" Henrik Ibsen shows how being a wife and mother does not necessarily mean that one has grown up. During this play you see that Nora, a wife and mother, still holds on to her childish behaviors by acting just as a young girl would. In "A Doll House" Ibsen shows how Nora's childish behavior causes problems between her and her husband through her actions, words, and her interactions with others.

From the start of the first scene Nora's actions speak louder than words when she comes home from shopping. Her husband Trovald gives her a hard time about spending so much money saying, "We certainly don't have money to waste" (Ibsen 1080). Nora carelessly blows off her husbands remarks as a child does their parents when it comes to money. Nora says, "We can always borrow" like there would be no consequences to it (Ibsen 1080). Little does Torvald know that Nora has already taken out a hefty loan to pay for a vacation trip that the couple went on to Italy, claiming "I've saved Torvald's life" by making up this ridiculous excuse that her husbands life can be saved by going on a vacation (Ibsen 1088). Instead of being honest with her husband and telling him what she had done, Nora covers her tracks by telling her husband that her father gave her the money for the trip. Nora hopes that her husband’s promotion and raise will help to pay off the loan, never thinking about the possibility of something happening to him.

Her words and expressions are that of a child who has been caught by their parents, yet lie to avoid punishment. Nora is quick to lie about eating some macaroons to her husband, "You know I wouldn't do anything to displease you" Nora says (Ibsen 1082). Later on in a conversation with Dr. Rank, Nora pulls out the macaroons to which Dr. Rank says, "I thought they were banned around here" (Ibsen 1093). Without hesitation Nora says, "Yes, but these were some Kristine gave me" knowing good and well that Mrs. Linde had not (Ibsen 1093). Nora is so comfortable lying that she makes these remarks with Mrs. Linde sitting right in front of her. Nora's husband is a man of morality therefore he believes in doing the right thing and using logic when it comes to making decisions. Earlier in the play Torvald scolds Nora for spending so much money. Nora's responds by saying, "We can always borrow" as if there would be no financial bind (Ibsen 1080). As the story goes along we find that Nora has indeed borrowed alot of money without thinking of the consequences.

Ibsen shows Nora's actions and words are that of a child, however it's her interactions with the other characters that proves just how childish she is. It seems Nora thinks that she is above others because of what she has. In her conversations with Mrs. Linde, Nora seems to be sure of herself when Mrs. Linde questions her about where she got the money for the trip from. "I could have gotten it some other way" Nora says, "An admirer may have given it to me. When you're as tolerably good looking as I am" (Ibsen 1089). Nora tries to justify everything that she does with an invalid excuse. In her conversations with Krogstad, Nora admits to signing her fathers name to the loan without considering the implications of the deal. Krogstad confronts Nora about this to which she says, "That trip was to save my husband's life. I couldn't give it up" (Ibsen 1099). Again Nora tries to justify her reasoning for having to borrow the money for the trip. When Torvald learns of the loan that Nora took to pay for their vacation trip he becomes enraged over this issue saying, "You have ruined all my happiness. My whole future-that’s what you have destroyed" (Ibsen 1133). During the whole play he emphasizes the importance of not being in debt to Nora. Torvald talks to Nora as a father does to his daughter. Nora was able to make an easy transition from being a spoiled daughter under the care of her father to being a spoiled wife. Therefore she never quite understood that there is a risk involved when you make major decisions.

Nora shows that she has been so used to being treated like a child from her husband that she never quite grew up as the years went along. Rather than use logic, she continues to dig herself in a larger hole by thinking of satisfying herself instead of thinking about the consequences. Although her intentions are good, Nora never considers the impact that her situation would bring. Even from the start when she was sneaking the macaroons to the

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