A doll house by Henrik Ibsen is a modern drama whose characters fail to
understand who they really are. The theme of self-discovery can be viewed throughout
the entire play. Nora's character plays an important role in self-discovery. She is a
dynamic character who proves at the end of the play that she accept and discovers who
the true Nora is.
The play begins with a direct emphasis on Nora and her husband (Torvald)
relationship. One can easily assume that their relationship is based on material things and
status. It appears that money is the one thing which is keeping their marriage what is
considered to be happy. Throughout the first act Torvald immediately begins referring to
his wife with childlike names. In the first opening lines he refers to Nora as "my
squirrel." Throughout the play, Torvald continues to uses nick names such as "little song
bird", "skylark", "odd little one" and many more belittling names. The usage of the above
nicknames shows that Torvald feels superior to Nora. He wants to keep her small and
under him. For this reason, he continues to refer to Nora in this manner throughout the
play. Torvald and Nora's relationship can be viewed at first as a happy and pleasant one.
At the same time one may view their relationship as that of the ordinary. Torvald does
not see Nora as an equal. He fails to realize that she is a woman and not a child. He
continues to speak to her in a childish manner because he views her for her appearance
and not for who she really is. It is clearly presented that Torvald takes his position as being superior because he feels that Nora is dependent on him. He believes she is
narrow minded and ignorant because she is a woman.
In the first act it is also indicated that money plays an important role throughout
the play. Nora proves to be an insensitive and self-centered woman when she is visited by
her old friend Mrs. Linde. Her first ignorant questions were whether Mrs. Linde husband
left her any money or children. Mrs. Linde states that she was left penniless and that she
has struggled. Nora being the self-centered person that she is begins bragging of her good
fortune and forgets to acknowledge Mrs. Linde struggles. The above scene provides a
vivid understanding of the type of person Nora is sought out to be at first. The scene
proves that Nora is indeed self-centered, ignorant and immature. Her journey to self-
discovery will not only change her but will allow her to develop as a mature character.
As the play progresses Nora's character begins to undergo a visible change. She
begins to go from an immature, self-centered person to a woman who is beginning to gain
a sense of maturity. She is no longer viewed as an insensitive person. This change is
demonstrated when Nora reveals her secret to Mrs. Linde. Nora explains that her life has
also had its share of hardships. Nora secretively took out a bank loan. In doing so, she
went against her husband because she knew he was against loans. Although, Nora went
against her husband her act is viewed as a selfless one because it was done in order to
save her husbands life. Nora's action shows that she is caring and is capable of doing
things on her own. The revelation of Nora's secret is her first step to self discovery. It
also provides a foundation for the re-building of Nora & Mrs. Linde friendship.
Nora's character takes another toll when she is approached by Krogstad. Krogstad
was aware that Nora had forged her father's signature. Forging the signature was the only
way Nora was able to take out the loan. Although, Nora knows that forgery is a crime,
she still takes pride in her actions. Her pride is elevated because the act was done
independently. On the other hand, Torvald still sees Nora as an ignorant person unable of
doing anything on her own. Torvald in...
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