A Critical Study of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll‘s House(continuing..)
Nora begins dancing too fast and stops listening to Torvald instructions on how to dance. Torvald becomes mad when she doesn’t do like he says. As long as Nora does what Torvald says, everything is perfect. Nora may seem to be this perfect woman, but her life is actually filled with secrets and lies. Nora has several secrets she has been hiding from Torvald. One secret is the loan she forges her father’s signature on. She borrows the loan from Krogstad to save Torvald’s life. “She has committed forgery and she is proud of it, for she did it out of love for her husband, to save his life”. A woman borrowing money during this time period is unheard of. As Kristine tells Nora, “A wife can’t borrow without her husband’s consent”. However, secretly Nora does have business sense so she can manage the money and that is how she borrows it. Torvald eventually gets well and Nora is left with paying the loan back. She finds ways to save money. As Nora herself states, “Torvald gives me money for new clothes and such, I never used more than half”.
Nora finds other ways to make money. She finds a job where she is lucky enough to get a lot of copying to do. Nora shows that she is a responsible person “when she repays the loan at great personal sacrifice”. Thanks to Nora’s deception, Torvald never learns of the job. Another secret Nora keeps from Torvald has to do with the macaroons. Nora comes in from Christmas shopping and she has with her a bag of macaroons. She secretly keeps them hidden in the piano. Whenever Torvald isn’t around she sneaks one. There is also a moment with Kristine and Dr. Rank in the room. She offers some macaroons to Kristine and Dr. Rank. Dr Rank makes a comment about how Torvald doesn’t like for her to eat them. Nora lies and says Kristine brought them too her. As Nora’s secret side is revealed, her life seems anything but perfect. As we look at the character change in Nora, we see two different sides to her. The beginning of the play reveals a woman totally dependent on her husband for everything,. It isn’t until the end of the play that she realizes she can be herself and she doesn’t have to depend on her husband. Nora realizes “that if she wants an identity as an adult that she must leave her husband’s home”. By examining Nora, we see from Ibsen’s theme that if we ignore all the expectations the social world has for a person, our true selves can be revealed.