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A Dolls House: Noras Dynamism - Essay Example

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Nora,the protagonist of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House,is a dynamic character.Her personality reveals several facets, and these facets reflect the action of the play.The play begins with Nora acting the role of a helpless, clinging wife…
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A Dolls House: Noras Dynamism
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Download file to see previous pages Name: Instructor: Course: Date: A Doll’s House: Nora’s Dynamism Henrik Ibsen’s drama, A Doll’s House, explores the nuances of gender relationships. Written in 1879, it continues to retain its relevance in contemporary times as a statement of gender-ordained societal roles and rules of conduct. The plot is based on Ibsen’s perception that, “There are two kinds of spiritual laws, two kinds of conscience, one in men and a quite different one in women. --- but the woman is judged in practical life according to the man's law, as if she were not a woman but a man” (qtd. in William, Introduction).The action of the play centers around the protagonist, Nora, who is caught in a web of forgery, blackmail and the threat of exposure. Nora’s character, which is the fulcrum of the play, displays multiple facets. These various facets are seen in her reaction to the changing circumstances of her life. The changes in Nora’s character are mirrored in the unfolding of the three acts of the play. Nora’s dynamic character is linked to the denouement of the drama. Nora moves from the role of the happy homemaker to frightened victim, and finally to that of the independent individualist. At the start of Act 1, Nora is seen in the role of the happy homemaker, who is content to be a wife and mother. She tells Mrs. Linde, “Kristine! it's good to be alive and happy!” (Ibsen, 14). Nora appears to be a frivolous, carefree woman, whose husband calls her “you helpless little mortal” (Ibsen, 44). Nora plays up to his expectations of her role as a clinging, helpless ‘doll-wife.’ She is aware that this is the way to please him and keep his love. However, it is soon clear that “Down deep in the consciousness of Nora there evidently slumbers personality and character” (Goldman, Berkley Digital Library). She is very much her own woman: she eats macaroons against Helmer’s strictures, artfully wheedles money out of him to pay her debt, and skillfully hides her financial needs and economies under the guise of the incorrigible, “sweet little spendthrift” (Ibsen, 10). She willfully puts on a facade of tears, entreaties, pretty words, fancy dress and dance, which completely takes in her husband. Nora reveals her true character to Mrs. Linde: “But “Nora, Nora” is not so silly as you think” (Ibsen, 13). Even as she says, “Yes, Torvald, I can't get along a bit without your help” (Ibsen, 28), she is capable of controlling her husband, dealing with Krogstad, and manipulating Dr. Rank. As the web of deceit and blackmail closes round her, Nora comes face to face with society’s legal strictures, which she has not understood earlier. She finds it difficult to accept that her forgery is considered a crime, and the compulsions which drove her to it will not be taken into consideration as exonerating factors. Nora asks Krogstad, “is a daughter not to be allowed to spare her dying father anxiety and care? Is a wife not to be allowed to save her husband's life?” (Ibsen, 26). As she moves from disbelief to a true awareness of her position, the Nora who disdainfully declares in Act 1, “What do I care about tiresome Society?” (Ibsen, 20), changes into the desperate woman of Act 11 who considers suicide as the way out of her predicament. She first attempts to sweet-talk Helmer into ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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