Hannah PeabodyEnglish 102Dr Joanna Chrzanowski4 March 2018 Leaving Home to Find HomeSome people

Hannah PeabodyEnglish 102Dr. Joanna Chrzanowski4 March 2018 Leaving Home to Find HomeSome people say that money is the root of all evil, it is understood that one cannot survive without it. Money is a necessity, and most everyone can agree to the fact that financial security can make one’s life much easier. The theme of money plays a significant role in Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House”, affecting each character’s behavior, and the situations they are in. Nora Helmer is a delicate, pampered wife who was spoiled by her wealthy father and later by Torvald. As Ibsen suggests, Nora is the doll of this dollhouse, as her role is to bend into the shape of the ideal housewife. If it is dancing for her husband, completing the family shopping, or playing childish games to attract Helmer’s attention, Nora will do what it takes to fit the roles properly. As readers, we soon see that Nora lives a life separated from being a housewife. Nora is possible of her own triumphs and tragedies, independent of the life and decisions of her husband. Using creative symbolic animal imagery, Ibsen develops a deeper understanding of Nora’s character. Nora Helmer, the protagonist in the play “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, is essentially a doll living a very luxurious life. She is initially spoiled by her father as a child, and later, spoiled by her husband, Torvald Helmer. Although her father is dead before the play starts he is referred to throughout the play and is who Nora blames for her downfall in the end. The father-daughter relationship is referred to later when Nora confronts Torvald in the end of the play, during the final act. She makes this connection that life with her father was like life with Torvald. Nora’s father would force his beliefs on her and she would comply with them lest she upset him; she would bury her personal belief under Papa’s. According to Nora, Torvald was guilty of the same things. When, her father handed her to her husband who treated her like a valued possession. She says when talking to Torvald, “When I lived at home with Papa, he told me all his opinions, so I had the same ones to0;. or if they were different I hid them, since he wouldn’t have cared for that. He used to call me his doll- child, and he played with me the way I played with my dolls” (Ibsen, 1160). This best depicts Nora’s self-realization and awakening towards the end of the play when she blames her father for her own lack of maturity and independency. Nora says, “It’s a great sin what you and Papa did to me. You’re to blame that nothing’s become of me” (Ibsen, 1160). She feels as if they have betrayed her almost for setting her back from her goals and what she wanted to be or do. Nora Helmer demonstrates the complexity of her personality throughout the play through contradicting behavior. She is child like when she interacts with her husband, Torvald. She behaves playfully yet obediently when Torvald is around, always prompting favors from him instead of communicating like adults. Torvald gently scolds Nora throughout the play, and Nora always responds to his critics as though she were some loyal pet. But, she has not been thoughtlessly spending their money like Torvald believes. She has actually been saving to pay off a secret debt. Years ago, when her husband became ill, Nora forged her father’s signature to receive a loan to save Torvald’s life. The fact that she never told Torvald about this situation reveals several aspects about her character. When her intentions to help her husband with this secret loan end up backfiring it made Nora realize that their relationship was not real and that they did not truly care for each other and their problems like a normal couple would. Nora had also come to the conclusion that she has “lived by doing tricks” (Ibsen, 1160) for Torvald all of her the years that she has been with him and she was tired of it. Nora says, “I went from Papa’s hands into yours. You arranged everything to your own taste, and so I got the same taste as you – or I pretended to; I can’t remember. I guess a little bit of both, first one, then the other. Now when I look back, it seems as if i’ve lived here like a beggar – just from hand to mouth” (Ibsen, 1160). This is showing that Nora is claiming that she felt like Torvalds doll wife and that she was always just there for fun for Torvald and not for being in a serious relationship with him. This made Nora realize that she was never happy when she lived with Torvald and that she wanted to leave and start a whole new life. She expresses her true feelings about the situation when she says, “But our home has been nothing but a playpen. I’ve been your doll – wife here, just as at home I was Papa’s doll – child. And in turn the children have been my dolls“ (Ibsen, 1160). She has to spend some time figuring out who she is or she’ll always be someone’s little “doll”. She has to force herself to face the real world. Leaving her husband and family at the end of the play is a move that can be viewed as either very selfish or very heroic. Because Nora uses her strength and courage in effort to save others and herself from the “doll’s house”” life they were living in

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