Escape From A Dollhouse

1817 WORDS

Escape From A Dollhouse
We have all felt the need to be alone or to venture to places that our minds
have only imagined. However, we as individuals have always found ourselves
clutching to our responsibilities and obligations, to either our jobs or our
friends and family. The lingering feeling of leaving something behind or of
promises that have been unfulfilled is a pain that keeps us from escaping.

People worldwide have yearned for a need to leave a situation or seek spiritual
fulfillment elsewhere. The need for one’s freedom and their responsibility to
others can make or break a person. Henrik Isben’s inspirational characters of

Nora Helmer, Kristine Linde, and Nils Krogstad have all had to suffer for their
right to be individuals and to be accountable for their actions. A woman of the
tough Victorian period, Nora Helmer was both a prisoner of her time as well as a
pioneer. In her society women were viewed as an inferior species and were not
even considered real human beings in the eyes of the law. Nora and other women
soon discovered that it was a man’s world and they were just not allowed to
participate in it. Women of that era though, were allowed to stay at home and
adhere to their tired, overworked spouse’s needs, not to mention their
constant obligation to their children. Women in those days were only allowed to
work solely at home or to have minor jobs such as maids or dressmakers. Nora was
a free spirit just waiting to be freed; her husband Torvald would constantly
disallow the slightest pleasures that she aspired to have, such as macaroons.

Nora lived a life of lies in order to hold her marriage together. She kept
herself pleased with little things such as telling Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde; "I
have such a huge desire to say-to hell and be damned!" (Isben 59) Just so she
could release some tension that was probably building inside her due to all the
restrictions that Torvald had set up, such as forbidding macaroons. The need for
her to consume these macaroons behind her controlling husband’s back was a way
for her to satisfy her sense of needing to be an independent woman. Upon the
arrival of her old friend Kristine Linde, Nora took it upon herself to find her
friend a job since she had gone through a lot in her life. She asked her husband

Torvald, who also happened to be the new manager at the bank if Kristine could
have a job and he responded with an afirmative response. Mrs. Helmer had also
stated that she had single handedly saved her husband’s life when she took out
a loan for his benefit. However, in those days women were unable to get a loan
without their husband’s consent or another male’s signature, so Nora took it
upon herself to forge her father’s signature in order to secure the welfare of

Torvald. She saw it as her obligation as a loving wife to break the law so she
would be able to save a life, especially when it was the life of her husband.

Others though saw it as a criminal offence; Nils Krogstad for example accused

Nora of violating the law to which Nora replied: "This I refuse to believe. A
daughter hasn’t the right to protect her dying father from anxiety and care? A
wife hasn’t the right to save her husband’s life? I don’t know much about
laws but I’m sure that somewhere in the books these things are allowed. And
you don’t know anything about it-you who practice the law? You must be an
awful lawyer, Mr. Krogstad." (Isben 67) Nora saw the law as something which,
stood in the way of her responsibility to her family not to mention to herself.

If she were to of told her ill father about her situation concerning Torvald’s
health he could have died due to stress of hearing this news. If she had spoken
to Torvald about his illness he would have forbidden her from carrying it on
because he wouldn’t want to be in debt to a women, and more importantly his
wife; his pride as a male would have been crushed. It was her responsibility
that she did not disclose that information to Torvald because of the
repercussions it would bring. At the conclusion of the play Nora knows that her
secret will be revealed and awaits Torvald’s reaction to it. When she learns
that her marriage was a sham

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