POST: 'A Doll's House' - lady, are your for real?!

What's it about?

Nora Helmer, “a sweet child” married woman, during the nineteenth century...

What'd I Experience?

As soon as Nora walked into her house, all these memories rushed back to me. Oh, the high school years... It felt good to witness a piece of literature, a play that I had once deeply analyzed with my high school peers. Just like that, all details seemed to fall into place, I couldn’t help but point out (in my mind)“oh, I remember this part!”

Classically dressed and filled with Christmas-wrapped boxes in her hands, Nora was filled with excitement for the upcoming holiday. It seemed like there was nothing special about a woman who wanted to spoil her family during a cheerful time. But when she is greeted by her husband, Torvald, the words “my sweet girl” “child” and “squirrel” are what stand out the most. Well, this is not a normal marriage, at least not one that I can relate to today. I definitely do not want to get married to my dad...

The unusual squirrel reference was made because Nora secretly hoards macaroons, trying her best to not let her husband find out, as he prohibits her from having them due to cavities. Ok, I guess that is weirdly acceptable. But then "sweet, girl, child" ... ??? Definitely ODD. Not once or twice but all throughout the play, plus the jumps of excitement towards Torvald, her tone of voice and face almost like that of a child  upset or wanting to get permission (but from her husband!).  More than a child, she was his puppet. Pleased when she was allowed to do certain things, and helpless when she was denied.

I asked myself, in all seriousness, how has society shaped me to reason accordingly to its rules? As the open-minded person I am today, I find it impossible for me to be able to fit in my head Nora’s behavior. Like lady, are you for real? I know, I’d definitely not be able to perform her role in that oppressed kind of society. But, I know that fiction is just a reflection of reality, or for this one of what once was, but I guess it might be what still goes on.

Nora was trying to prevent Torvald from reading a letter that Krogstad, an employee from the bank Torvald manages, has left for him. In it, he lets him know of the money his wife borrowed in order to save Torvald’s life. It was Krogstad’s way of getting back at Nora.

At the same time Khristine Lind, an old school friend of Nora, now a widow, has come back into her life trying to find a job. Little does she know that the position she was offered had been Krogstad’s. When they met face to face, it is revealed they were once lovers. Oooohhh... The sparks between them seem to ignite again and they get back together. Knowing that Khristine is Nora’s friend, Krogstad tries to get the letter back but is convinced by Khristine to leave it. The thought that Khristine betrayed Nora hit quick, I think I was affected by the play because I thought of course, that was the best thing to do. DUH [Knocks self on the head]... the truth had to be revealed somehow. At least they appeared to be more of a sane couple.

Unable to prevent the truth from being revealed, hopeless Nora allows Torvald into his office to read the letter. She grabs her coat and starts to make her way for the door, but is stopped by Torvald. YIKES! Enraged, he asks Nora for an explanation, and with nothing left to say but the truth, Nora owns up to it all. She enters a stage of self-realization. Tables seem to turn and instead of looking like a scolded puppy, it was now Torvald who had the questioning look. Nora tells how she has been wronged by both her husband and father; that because of them she has made nothing out her life. {Insert Applause emoji here} Finally woman! 

I started thinking about how many women today still don’t have enough value to pull themselves out of an unstable relationship. I feel I'm strong enough to never allow myself to remain in a situation like that, but I also realize that circumstances are always different. So I ask myself, would I be able to reason accordingly?


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