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Critical Attitude Toward Marriage and Duty in the Play, A Doll's House by Henrick Ibsen

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In the play “A Doll's House” by Henrik Ibsen, the controversy within the Helmer family conveys a critical attitude toward marriage and duty. The drama traces the awakening, self-realization and transformation of the main character, Nora Helmer. Having borrowed money from the character Krogstad by falsifying her father’s signature, Nora was able to afford a trip to the south for the sake of saving her sick husband, Torvald Helmer’s life. Since then, Nora has been secretly working in order to pay off the loan. Nora expects that if Torvald finds out about her sacrifice for him, he will risk his life to save her. When Torvald is put to the test, he shows no intention of sacrificing himself, despite the fact that his wife committed a crime to…show more content…
Moreover, the conversation between Nora and Mrs. Linden again proves Nora lacks confidence in their marriage. Mrs. Linden asks Nora about telling Torvald about the debt; Nora claims that she will tell Torvald when they get older because she knows “I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to [her].” That’s why Nora wants to tell him later because she hopes the fact that she has sacrificed so much for Torvald will make him retain his faithfulness and devotion to her even when she gets older and loses her attractiveness. Nora lacks confidence in this marriage since she perceives that Torvald’s affection is mostly because of her appearance, and she knows that when her beauty vanishes, it is likely that Torvald’s interest in her will vanishes as well. In other words, Nora believes a true marriage is based on the love to their partner instead of each other’s appearance. Nora shows sign of lacking confidence in this marriage as early as Act one, Torvald’ s selfish reaction further proves her suspicion about this marriage is right on point. Additionally, different characters have different perspective about marriage. Mrs. Linde awoke in the final scene. Mrs. Linde have devoted her whole life to live to a husband she didn’t love in order to help her brothers and mother. There is no true love in her marriage back then, the marriage is based on her family. After
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