A Doll House Nora Perceived by Other Characters In the Victorian age many woman were thought of as mere objects. Most woman has no real social status and were not allowed to express themselves freely. A Dolls House, a play by Henrik Ibsen, has brought controversy to the conclusion in which Nora leaves her family. Nora perceived in many different ways is the catalyst that forces Nora to leave her family. Many people had found it difficult to understand how Nora could dessert her husband and children. In the Victorian Age it was not only unheard of to walk out on your loved ones but unethical as well.
There are many incidents that inch by inch helps Nora come to the conclusion that she must leave her home and family. As Nora states My first duty is to myself (Ibsen 68 ). Her husband, Torvald, treats Nora more as a possession then an equal partner. He uses, manipulates and molds her to fit perfectly into his facade. Krogstad, a morally diseased man who works for Torvald, also uses Nora to gain a higher position at work. He believes her to be an easy target for blackmail.
Noras best childhood friend, Christine Linde, helps her realize that a woman can think, act and live independently for herself. As Nora realizes that she must find her true self, the ways in which Krogstad, Christine and Torvald perceive her dramatically change. Christine Linde, a woman who has had to live independently since her husband died, suddenly comes back to visit Nora and finds Nora has not changed from her childish ways in high school. Nora for an instant does not recognize her old friend because of the time that has passed since the last time she saw her. Christine tells Nora of her husbands passing and how he did not leave her any money or even any sorrow or grief to live upon (Ibsen 6). She tells Nora how she had to marry him because of her ailing mother and two younger brothers.
She needed someone who could take care of her and her family financially. Now she is on her own and looking for a job to support herself. Nora expresses her sympathies and promptly brags about Torvalds promotion at the bank. She is so excited at the importance of his job and more importantly the money that will begin to start pouring in. Nora thinks it will be wonderful not having to worry about money and being able to shop at any time for anything.
Nora, Nora, havent you learnt any sense yet? In our school days you were a great spendthrift (Ibsen 8). Christine tries to point out to Nora that there are more important things in life to worry about besides money. Christine, a woman who has been forced to live in a hard world starts out patronizing Nora (Rogers 83). She believes Nora is living in a dream world, one that nothing can go wrong, instead of living in the real world where everything is not always so perfect. Christine understands that Nora has led a sheltered life for she was always taken care of, first by her husband and then by Torvald.
Nora has never had her freedom like Christine; she always depended upon someone else. Christine on the other hand never really had life easy. She had to marry a man she did not love for the sake of money – in other words she too had her doll house (Hornby 99). For most of her life, Christine was responsible for someone. She never had the luxury of depending upon anyone and therefore became more cynical of the world.
As Christine gets better acquainted with Nora she begins to realize that Nora is not what she seems; Instead her true inner feelings and thoughts are smothered by Torvalds domineering views. When Nora tells Christine about the money she borrowed, Christine does not understand because a woman is not allowed by law to borrow money. Nora answers humming and smiling with an air of mystery, Couldn’t I? Why not? (Ibsen 12). Christine is shocked at this information and can not believe that Nora would defy her husband. Christine too is inclined to treat Nora as a kitten that has never known trouble.
Not unnaturally Nora is piqued into revealing that she is not such a child after all. Seven years ago she saved her husbands life by borrowing money (Ibsen and Strindberg 139). You are just like the others. They all think that I am incapable of anything really serious is Noras response to Christines comment (Ibsen 11). Nora is sick and tired of everyone treating her as though she is incompetent. She wants them all to realize that she is a woman who is more than Torvalds little squirrel to manipulate (Ibsen 5).
When the doctors tell her that Torvald will die if he does not live in the south; she first tries to work her wiles on him and uses tears and begs but he will not go. She knows she must save him at any cost. Nora did what she thought the only solution was; she borrowed the money and told Torvald that it was a present from her father. Noras borrowing gave her a sense of worth. It made her feel like a man and made her feel more powerful. Christines first thoughts of Noras forgery change as she realizes that Nora did it out of love and not deceit.
Christine begins to understand more and more that Nora is forced into a role that Torvald wants filled but not one that Nora wants to play. She on the other hand is waiting for Torvald to love her as she loves him. She wants him to sacrifice his reputation to prove his love for her is as great as hers for him. Christine ends up interfering in their relationship by holding Krogstad from retrieving the letter because she believes the truth must come out in order for them to save their marriage. Krogstad is a man who is treated and treats with contempt. He is Torvalds employee at the bank who is about to loose his position for lack of morals.
Torvald will fire him not because he forged someones name on a bond but because he did not take his punishment instead he got himself out of it by a cunning trick, and that is why he has gone under altogether (Ibsen 27). Krogstad is angry and vows revenge so he goes to Nora, whom he has been lending money, to reveal that he has discovered Noras own forgery. He hopes to use this against her to retain his position at the bank. He thinks Nora will be an easy target as he says Oh you cant frighten me. A fine, spoilt lady like you (Ibsen 43). He does not believe Nora will display the courage to defy him.
This information is important to Krogstad because he now wants to rehabilitate himself. He needs Torvald to give him a higher position in the bank so that people will respect him. Respectability is important because he is tired of being depicted as a villain. The irony is that he wants to become a better person but to do this he will blackmail Nora and destroy a marriage without feeling any guilt. Instead of rehabilitating himself he is becoming more and more villainous.
Thinking that Nora could use her influence on her husband he tells her to make sure that he is able to keep his job. Nora knows this is impossible because her husband will never listen to her pleas for Krogstads sake. He scares her with threats that he will tell Torvald about the forgery. Nora condemns Krogstads behavior as shameful, brutal, and nasty. He retaliates by making her look in the mirror. He manipulates her into thinking that her crime was just as bad as his (Durbach 79).
A disagreeing Nora naively tells him that the law will see that her crime was different because it was out of love whereas his was out of greed. Nora would rather die then tarnish Torvalds honor. She would rather die then put him to the test and that is why she tells Krogstad she will do anything for him in exchange that he keep her secret (Hornby 101). Nora pleads with him to take money instead but Krogstad wants more than money instead of his position at the bank. He instead has decided that …