Essay about Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

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Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

In his play, 'A Doll?s House,' Henrik Ibsen shows a marriage built only on appearances, and not love. Both Nora the wife, and Torvald the husband, pretend they are in love throughout the story. However, love should be patient and kind, and their love is anything but that. Nora treats her husband as a father figure. Her feelings towards Torvald are more about dependence than love. Torvald treats Nora like a child or a pet. He gets very angry and frustrated with Nora, and he does not truly love her. True love is perfect, not angry, controlling, and dependent as Nora and Torvald are to each other. Throughout the story, Torvald is constantly angry with Nora. He also
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ruined my whole future.?(Ibsen 916). Torvald has no compassion for her. He does not care that she took out the loan to save his life. Torvald just wants to order Nora around. His love is not true, but it is an angry petty obsession.

Several critics also saw Torvald as controlling and obsessive. Each critic noticed the change in Torvald?s personality when something was not perfect in his home. Clement Scott said, ?Helmer is very angry indeed. He forgets all his affection and endearment; he can only think of his personality injury? (222). Scott also said, ?Helmer?s attitude towards his child-wife is natural but unreasonable? (222). Besides being angry towards Nora, Torvald is also controlling. Forbidding Nora from eating candy reveals Torvald?s controlling side. Edmund Gosse said, ? Her doctor and her husband have told her not to give way to her passion for ?candy? in any of its seductive forms?? (220). He forbids Nora from eating candy because he does not want her teeth to become rotten. This shows how shallow he is. Torvald is so obsessed with Nora being perfect, that he really is not in love with her. ? Helmer only sees the attractiveness of this love which lies intoxicatingly over her silent farewell?(Salome 229). Torvald is mean, shallow, and does not truly love his wife.

Not only does Torvald treat Nora badly, but he also treats her like a child. He speaks down to her. Torvald has many pet names for Nora. He says things to her like ?When did my little squirrel
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