Theme of a Doll's House

Topics: Henrik Ibsen, Marriage, A Doll's House Pages: 2 (721 words) Published: August 21, 2013
The main theme of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is behaviour that is based on the opinions of others and not being true to yourself. Many of the characters demonstrate this type of behaviour, but the character this theme most significantly applies to is Nora. Nora is Torvald’s loving, yet childish wife, who he treats as his puppet. As the story goes on, we begin to realize that Nora is actually a strong an independent woman, but Torvald does not allow her to express those qualities. This essay will discuss how Torvald controls Nora, examples of the glimpses of independence we see from Nora and her ultimate realization realization that she has been living her life the way Torvald expects her to. She decides that in order to find true happiness, she ust free herself from this sham of a marriage. It is clear that Nora is not a weak or dependant doll.

Torvald is very controlling of Nora and he does not allow her to do anything on her own. Torvald sees her as a prize that he displays to make himself feel important. Torvald is more interested in Nora physically than emotionally. He feels that Nora's main job as his wife is to satisfy him physically whenever he desires her. Torvald does not trust his wife with his money either. In the story Torvald says that Nora will just go and waste the money on something silly like pastries. He views her as an unwise child. He continuously calls her very demeaning names such as “my little skylark” or “my little squirrel”. Nora’s duties are kept very simple. She is to cook, clean the house, and raise the children. Nora depends on Torvald for everything in her life, and he does not want her to have any freedom.

Nora shows us glimpses of her independence throughout the play. At one point, Nora and Torvald were going through a difficult financial time. Nora had to get a job in order to help their family survive. When Nora looks back at her time working, she says that she misses it, indicating her desire to be productive outside of...
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