A Doll’s House
INST 2608-02 A Doll’s House response paper The two main characters in A Doll’s House that I am going to focus on are Torvald and Nora. They are a married couple living in a middle class home with three children and maids. Torvald has secured a position with a bank, after the New Year he will “get a big salary and earn pots and pots of money. ” (Page 8) Nora has kept a large secret from Torvald regarding money borrowed to take a trip to Italy so Torvald could recuperate in a warm climate from an illness. The story centers on Nora trying to keep the secret from Torvald.
Krogstad loaned the money to Nora and she forged the signature of her father as the co-signer on the contract. The plot thickens when Krogstad shows up at Nora’s house to blackmail her. Torvald refers to Nora as a little bird and talks to her like she is a lovely little doll. “What do we call little birds that like to fritter money? ” (Page 9) Nora plays right along with all the references to a lovely bird that needs her husband to approve everything she does. I was annoyed with their relationship because of the way he treated her and because she allowed it to happen.
Nora is a strong, smart and independent woman, who allows her husband to dominate. She acted this was because society expected this of woman. She did not think for herself in fear of the men becoming angry. When Torvald discovers Nora’s secret and realizes he may be ruined by the blackmail of Krogstad, he turns on her. “I’ve really had my eyes opened, in all these years. You who were my pride and joy, a hypocrite! A liar! Worse! A criminal! ” (Page 58) Nora realizes Torvald would not sacrifice his integrity for her. She proclaims that thousands of women sacrifice their integrity for men and she could not live with a stranger any longer.
I was elated she made the decision to leave and stand up for what she believes. Nothing Torvald said would change her mind. She realized her father had treated her like a doll and now her husband was doing the same thing. Nora walked away from everything in order to gain her independence and find out what she believed to be the truth. This took a very strong woman, because women were to be at home and raise the children. They were to look pretty and do as they were told. They were not to think or give opinions. Nora sacrificed everything to be free.