A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen

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In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll House, Nora Helmer represents many feministic ideals of the late eighteen hundreds. The ending is often what the play as a whole is remembered by, due to its shocking nature. Nora, the female lead of the play decides to leave her home suddenly, after a confrontation with her husband Torvald and never returns. Many saw this as a huge decision that was made abruptly, however what they fail to notice are the aspects that motivated Nora from the start of the play. At first, Nora may seem as if she is just a mindless, care free woman who is content with her life. Nevertheless, Nora Helmer is truly a strong willed individual who becomes aware of her underappreciated and overlooked potential. The limitations that…show more content…
The role of a male was superior at this time, and women followed the direction of their husbands without question. Nora disobeys Torvald in little ways when she eats macaroons against Torvald’s wishes. She even swears out loud in front of guests stating, “It’s something I have such a consuming desire to say so Torvald can hear” (Ibsen 1677). This is where the audience catches a glimpse of Nora’s desire to go against Torvald and their entire society.
The way Nora conceals how she is feeling inside is displayed more thoroughly in the film adaptation of the play, A Doll’s House, directed by Patrick Garland. Claire Bloom does an excellent job of portraying Nora as a human being with all of her various traits. Claire Bloom was able to show on film the flirtatious and happy version of Nora that made the impact of the ending so much more shocking. Throughout this film version, Nora’s character is smiling and a bit ditzy but no unhappiness could even be heard in her voice. Patrick Garland chose Mrs. Bloom to play Nora because she was able to portray the essential act that Nora put on for the people in her life. This is essential to see how society changed Nora and it makes her confrontation at the end a lot more powerful and understandable. The movie depicted Nora’s emotions both throughout the play as well as at the ending in a way that made it realistic and not overdone.
Nora is one of many women who were influenced by the pressure of social standards. A Doll House is
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