Essay on Nora's Decision in Henrik Ibsen’s Play A Doll’s House

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Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, illustrates the primary ideals of motherhood through protagonist Nora Helmer, who desires independence separate from her stifled 19th century lifestyle. Likewise, her decision to walk out on her husband and three small children is seen as a very controversial and scandalous act during this time period. Nora’s crisis emerges from her lack of a maternal figure during her childhood, her previous connotations of men, and ultimately her choice to abandon her loved ones for an independence all her own. Throughout Nora’s childhood, she consistently lacked a maternal figure. This is a key development in her crisis because a maternal figure is thought to provide the basis for future healthy relationships. …show more content…
NORA: Goodbye, Torvald. I won’t see my children. I know they’re in better hands than mine. The woman I am now would be no use to them . . . there, now it’s all over. I’ve put the keys here. The maids know all about running the house, much better than I do (117-118).
This passage illustrates Nora’s independence blossoming from her newfound lifestyle, and it is evident that she feels there to be no place for either a husband, or three young children in her new identity. Another key development in Nora’s crisis is her previous connotations of men. Because Nora’s mother was never present in her upbringing, her father doted on her every need and treated her like his “little doll”. Similarly, in her present marriage, Nora’s husband Torvald refers to her as his “little songbird”, and feels that she shouldn’t be expected to have any care, opinion, or worry in the world.
NORA: You have never understood me. I have been greatly wronged, Torvald – first by Papa and then by you . . . You have never loved me. You just thought it was pleasant to be in love with me . . . When I was at home with Papa he gave me his opinions on everything. So I had the same opinions as he did. If I disagreed with him I concealed the fact because he wouldn’t have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played
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