She allows the idea of buying presents to cloud the financial concerns in their family. With this perhaps, flaw, Torvald implies that Nora is comparable to “little birds that like to fritter money”(Ibsen, 1879, p.9). Torvald is implying that she lacks the male ability to deal with financial matters. Torvald believes that Nora’s lack of understanding of finance is due to her gender, “Nora, my Nora, that is just like a woman” (Ibsen, 1879). This reveals his prejudiced viewpoint on gender roles in society. Like many men during this time, Torvald believes that his wife’s role is to beautify the home, not only by the management of the domestic life but also by keeping up proper behavior and appearance. Appearances are very important to him and it is as though he sees Nora as an ornament in his home that serves to beautify the home and him as a
It was accepted that the women answered to the men. The husband made money and provided for the family, while the wife took care of the home and the children. Nora fits into her expected place into society for a short time, however that changes throughout the play as she becomes more self-aware. Torvald’s nicknames fit perfectly into the stereotypical relationship structure as they suggest that Nora is below Torvald in all aspects of their lives. The use of the nicknames and the descriptive words that Torvald uses suggest that Nora is not as smart as Torvald or that she is altogether
Since Nora’s father was dying, she was forced to forge his signature in order to secure a loan that would eventually save her husband’s life, which only led to more problems in the future because in order for her to be able to repay the money she must lie about how she spends her household accounts and also lie about taking odd jobs to earn extra money. Also, the way Torvald treats Nora in the play depicts the way women were treated in the nineteenth century. For example, In Act I, Nora is little more than a child playing a role. She is a “doll” occupying a doll’s house, a child who has exchanged a father for a husband without changing or maturing in any way. Torvald treats his wife literally like a doll, calling her pet names and occasionally scolding her as if she were a child. His primary interests are his new job as a bank manager and his social standing. When he learns that his wife is involved in a legal problem that would embarrass him if it became known to the public, he reveals who he really is. He comes off as a hypocrite preoccupied with his own welfare. Also, Torvald says that Nora is now his property which is when Nora realizes she is much too good for him. Nora then decides to leave because they have been married for eight years and has suffered enough injustice from both her father and Torvald. Nora explains to Torvald that she has been merry, not happy, being with him. She explained to him how
Nora begins to take offence to the words of Torvald. He refers to her as his most “prized possession”, and continues to say that he often imagines her as though she is his mistress, and she is a temptress. Nora continues to get offended, telling Torvald she doesn’t want any of this. Nora begins
Torvald believes that he both owns and fathers Nora, vocalizing that “if a man made her (his wife), he has given her a new life, and she has in a way become both wife and child to him” (3). Going on, Torvald questions Nora, asking her, “Why shouldn’t I look at my dearest treasure, at all of the beauty that is mine, my very own?”(3). Financially stifling Nora and placing her in positions where he can act as her savior, or father, boosts Torvald’s self-esteem
In preparation for Nora's dance at the party, we again see Ibsen showing us Torvald's and Nora's roles. "I can't get anywhere without your help."(Ibsen 91) "Direct me. Teach me, the way you always have."(Ibsen 91) Nora's lines reflect the "costume" that Torvald expects her to wear (and which she wears obligingly), that of the meek, subservient, childlike wife.
restricted to playing with the children, doing little housework, and working on her needlepoint. A problem with her responsibilities is that her most important obligation is to please Torvald, making her role similar to that of a slave. Torvald easily talks down to Nora saying things like: “…worries that you couldn’t possible help me with”, “Nora, Nora, just like a woman”, and “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me—that’s my very own?” as if she is considered his property.
Nora, the innocent little housewife, starts off as a harmless little doll but soon changes. She is Torvald’s perfect wife in the beginning of the play, but little does he know that she has a mind of her own and isn’t really his little doll. The opening of Nora’s ulterior personality starts when she opens up to Mrs. Linde (Act 1). Nora bleeds to Mrs. Linde her financial problems with the trip that she spent two hundred and fifty pounds on, on her husband. Being the reader, I was shocked to hear so knowing how harmless and perfect Nora appeared to be. Then later on, the plot unfolds and reveals the incriminating fact that Nora had been owing Krogstad this money the whole time and had been paying him back in increments with the allowance given to her by Torvald. It is crazy that Nora had been so sneaky all along and had been keeping it away from Torvald all along. Nora is then stuck in a dilemma when Krogstad blackmailed her by telling her that she has to get his job back or he’ll reveal the whole thing to
Torvald, Nora's husband, feels powerful by referring to Nora as different types of feeble animals. Nora realizes this and uses it to her advantage. During act II she wants a favor from Torvald so she manipulates him by calling herself the animal names that make Torvald feel dominant. She says,
Nora also receives the command from her husband that she should “...make your mind at ease again, my frightened little singing bird. Be at/ rest and feel secure; I have broad wings to shelter you under”(3. 1. 543-544). After showing his whimpering self at realizing that society might find out that he owes his wife, he then receives a note promising not to reveal the truth. Torvald reacts with happiness and pretends that he did not just hurt his wife. His wife does not let this go as he rants with sexist remarks bluffing about his strengths. The pride Torvald has as a man makes him discriminate against women and what they stand for showing making the break up within this family. Also in The House on Mango Street, one of the protagonist's friends must take care of their family because she is the eldest daughter but this has only made her hope for a man to get out of here since all she has learned is that men are superior to her. This shows how dominance of a family member can make other family members want to leave, therefore breaking the family
The play also does suggest that women should leave their controlling husbands or lovers in order to gain the independence they are seeking. Nora’s husband Torvald plays the dominant role in their relationship. Torvald often would degrade Nora by calling her “silly girl” referring to her not being able to make decisions on her own, so he thought. Nora plays the role of a loving mother and respectful wife, whom is all about her family. “I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald. That’s how I’ve survived.
The relationship between Torvald and Nora is based on the assumption that women are beneath men. Torvald treats Nora like a girl would treat a doll. Torvald refers to Nora as his "lark," "squirrel," and his beautiful "songbird" throughout Ibsen's play, except when he is angry; then she becomes a woman. Elaine Baruch adds insight:
Although Nora is secretive about the crime she committed, which is forging her father’s name in order to borrow money; she does it to save her husband. During Act I when Nora is speaking to Mrs. Linde about someday revealing to Torvald about the secret loan Nora exclaims: “One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him.” (Act I, pg. 12). This quotation shows that even early on in the play Nora understands the reality of her marriage, and her existence to Torvald. Therefore, Act I is merely an introduction to the overall overarching theme of independence. Act I shows the obedient side of Nora, until later scenes when she reveals her independence. Torvald attempts to oppress his wife, but his actions do not stop Nora’s independent thoughts from forming.
Nora starts off the play essentially as Torvalds toy. She is obedient, she is cute, she rarely goes against his wishes, and she is nothing without her “owner”, Torvald. The reader, however, discovers early on that all is not what it seems to be. Nora is actually a very rebellious woman who enjoys going against Torvald’s wishes. There are scenarios where she does this out of the sheer enjoyment she gets. Nora loves macaroons.