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A Dolls House

By romar3 Jan 17, 2013 1239 Words
Rasheeda Omar
Ms. Katie Upton
Sociology 224 – Section 001
Film Analysis Paper

A Doll’s House

Nora will do anything to please her authoritarian husband Torvald. Per Torvald’s instructions, Nora focuses on such womanly disciplines as dancing and taking care of babies, while he sees to all the affairs of money. But when a past financial mistake comes back to haunt Nora and Torvald finds out, the result is an explosion of fury and a shocking revelation that changes the course of the entire family forever (Garland, 1973). Nora Helmer; seems completely happy. She responds affectionately to her husband’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. Torvald Helmer; embraces the belief that a man’s role in marriage is to protect and guide his wife. He clearly enjoys the idea that Nora needs his guidance, and he interacts with her as a father would. He instructs her with trite, moralistic sayings, such as; “A home that depends on loans and debt is not beautiful because it is not free.” Torvald likes to envision himself as Nora’s savior, asking her after the party, “Do you know that I’ve often wished you were facing some terrible dangers so that I could risk life and limb, risk everything, for your sake.” Krogstad; is the antagonist in the film but he is not necessarily a villain. Though his willingness to allow Nora’s torment to continue is cruel, Krogstad is not without sympathy for her, as he says, “even money lender, hacks, well a man like me, can have a little of what you call feeling, you know.” Krogstad has reasonable motives for behaving as he does; he wants to keep his job at the bank in order to spare his children from the hardship that come with a spoiled reputation. Unlike Torvald, who seems to desire respect for petty selfish reasons, Krogstad desires it for his family’s sake (Garland, 1973). From a Feminist perspective, a group whose members learn socially constructed expectations based on gender roles, social class, race, age, sexual orientation, marital status, and other factors. The husband is the dominant force in the family while the wife acts like a doll in a doll’s house. The wife makes sacrifices while the husband was more concerned about his reputation. From a Symbolic Inrteractionist perspective, a group, like others, whose interactions are governed by the communication of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and roles? The husband has a false sense of masculinity, that of a super-hero. The husband belittles his wife and tells her that she will not be able to interact with the children because of her sacrifice for her family. She is physically abused and told not the leave the house. When she is right the husband gives her money to spend on the family. From a conflict perspective, a group that experiences problems due to social inequality; the family and its members must compete for limited resources that are controlled by powerful groups. Krogstad is replaced at the bank because of Torvalds’ selfish reasons, which put his family in poverty. Krogstad uses blackmail to keep his job at the bank (Benokraitis, 2011). It is the 1890s in Norway, Nora’s’ father is dying. Her husband Torvald is in need of a climate change from Norway to Italy to save his life. Torvald tells his wife they can’t afford to take a vacation. Nora goes to the bank and asks Krogstad to raise the money for her. They raise the money by Nora forging her father’s signature. Krogstad forges some documents and gets the money for Nora. Word gets out about what Krogstad does and it ruins his reputation in town so he and his family live in poverty. Meanwhile Nora and her family go on the vacation to Italy and save her husbands’ life. Torvald gets a promotion at the bank where he and Krogstad works. Word gets out that Torvald is replacing Krogstad so he visits Nora to remind her of who helped her and discovers that she has forged her father’s signature. Krogstad blackmails Nora to save his job at the bank. Nora tells Krogstad that her husband will defend her. Krogstad reminds her of Torvalds masculinity. Nora goes to her husband to save Krogstad’s job. Torvald dislikes Krogstad because he calls him by his Christian name, instead of Mr., so he puts Krogstad in his place by using his power to take away Krogstad’s job and putting his family in poverty (Garland, 1973). Torvald receives the letter with the IOU from Krogstad, and he verbally abuses Nora by calling her stupid, liar, hypocrite, and a criminal. He physically slaps her and states know I am at the mercy of an unscrupulous man. Torvald tells her that she is just like your father with no religion or morals. You have ruined everything and will not be allowed to raise our three children. Nora changes out of her costume into her street clothes. She commands Torvald to sit and listen to her. This is the first time in eight years of marriage that they have sat down to talk about anything serious. Nora tells her husband that she has never been treated as a human being. Her father treated her like a doll child, husband treats her like a doll wife and now she treats her children like doll‘s playing with them. Torvald tells her now you can be educated. Nora states I will educate myself and I have to stand on my own two feet. Torvald tells Nora you can’t leave you have duties to your husband and children. Nora states my duty is to myself as a human being. Nora asks is society right or am I right; I will have to find that out for myself (Garland, 1973). Torvald and Nora are in a conflict-habituated marriage, Social Learning Theory; Nora states that she was treated like a doll child by her father, then her father handed her over to Torvald and she conformed to the doll house that he provided for her. Nora thought that because she was Torvalds’ wife and mother of his three children that he would sacrifice for her.”Wheel Theory” of love; rapport, self-revelation, mutual dependency and personality need fulfillment (Benokraitis, 2011). This movie hit home for me you spend all those years bearing children and sacrificing for love and family and what thanks do you get. Good for Nora leaving Torvald and she left him with the children double whammy on Torvald’s masculinity. Men have a false sense of what masculinity is when he states; “no man would sacrifice his honor, not even for love.” And Nora states, “Millions of women have.” I went through the same thing with my children’s father; he would often tell me that “my reputation is the most important thing to me.”

Works Cited
(2011). Marriages & Families Changes, Chioces, and Constraints. In N. V. Benokraitis, Theiretical Perspectives On Families (pp. 32-40). Upper Saddle River: Karen Hanson. Garland, P. (Director). (1973). A Doll's House [Motion Picture].

(2011). Marriages & Families Changes, Chioces, and Constraints. In N. V. Benokraitis, Theiretical Perspectives On Families (pp. 32-40). Upper Saddle River: Karen Hanson. Garland, P. (Director). (1973). A Doll's House [Motion Picture].

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