Nora and Torvald - Sample Essay
Question 1) The relationship between Nora and Torvald is a strange one by our standards but when the play was written it would have been quite usual. In the beginning of the play it seems to be an almost childish relationship in the sense that he uses words like scamper and fritter and calls Nora Squirrel and little bird. He also sees her as childlike and defenceless, a view held by men about women then. He blames women for the morality of the children and for the purity of the world through their influence in the home. She plays along with his games and is a loving wife although later we learn she has an ulterior motive.
Nora and Torvald both fell in love with the conceptions of each other, not their real selves. It turns out to be money that drives the relationship especially in Nora’s case as she was constantly trying to get money and wishing for a richer lifestyle. It is not an equal relation ship as seen in an idyllic world because Torvald does not see Nora as a equal but as a lesser being, a role to which Nora submits to. Question 2) In the dialogue when Nora plays flirtatiously with Dr Rank we can see her character in more depth and see potential flaws.
We can see that she has no regard for others and is only interested in having fun and enjoying life. This is because she has such a sheltered home lifestyle in which she cannot fully accept the reality of the outside world. She also is slightly unfaithful to her husband as she flirts with someone who is a very close friend of the family. She keeps trying to change the subject when Dr Rank talks about his illness and inevitable death almost as if she is trying to shut these things out of her life.
Question 3) When writing cross-gender as Ibsen did you must disregard any Ideals that your sex has of the opposite sex so as to “step into their shoes”. At the time when Ibsen wrote this play that would have been very difficult as there were many stereotypes held by both sexes that would need to be ignored. The main difficulties is that you must not only portray the character but also their feelings and reactions to their surrounding environment. In the case of A Dolls House he would have had to portray Nora’s character accurately in order to show how the she felt and reacted to Torvald and the rest of the characters in the play.
Question 4) Throughout the play Torvald uses terms like Scamper, Squirrel, little bird and skylark when talking to Nora. On the outside he uses these terms as endearing but there is really more meaning to the names and ways that he talks to her. Whenever he is telling her off or showing his dominance he uses this language to hide the fact or to soften his commands. You can also see his childlike view of Nora in the words and his view that women are defenceless and need protecting from the world. Question 5) Throughout the early part of the play it seems that Nora is fixated by money and is a superficial woman.
This may be true in a sense but later on we learn she didn’t borrow the money for herself but to save her husbands life. I believe she is a superficial woman due to her sheltered lifestyle as she went straight from living with her father to living with Torvald. It is due to this life style of having everything provided for her that led her to become the superficial materialistic woman she is. Question 6) Throughout the play we can see several notes of contrast or comparison between the characters of Nora and Mrs Linde. Nora and Mrs Linde are both very different people due to their lifestyle and upbringing.
To begin with Mrs Linde is older than Nora and therefore has more life experience. She is also single and has to live by herself and get a job to support herself, a valuable thing that enables her to see the value of money. From living in the “Real” world Mrs Linde has a better sense of morality, which Nora lacks, in some areas. Nora is a very materialistic and superficial due to her sheltered lifestyle. Although she seems kind and caring she is very self orientated and her lifestyle revolves around money and how to get it.