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A Dolls House

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A Doll's House Essay: Money Matters

Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 to a wealthy family, however, when he was just eight years old his family went bankrupt, and they lost their status in society. Ibsen knew how the issue of money could destroy a person's reputation in no time at all. Perhaps that is how he makes the characters in his play, A Doll's House , so believable. Nora and Mrs. Linde, the two main female characters in the play, have had the issues of money and forgery ruin their lives. Nora forged her dead father's signature to get a loan. The play revolves around her struggle with her fear of being found out. Both women's values change as the story moves along. At first, it appears that Nora values money and the status that it brings. Mrs. Linde values her own happiness, and eventually Nora realizes that the only way she will be able to live with what she has done is to do the same.

From the start of the play, we see that Nora's entire focus is on money. "Won't it be lovely to have stacks of money and not a care in the world" (703), Nora asks Mrs. Linde. Almost every conversation she has in the play is related to money in some way or another. When Torvald, her husband, asks her what she wants for Christmas, she tells him, "You could give me money, Torvald. . . . Then I could hang the bills in pretty glit paper on the Christmas tree. Wouldn't that be fun" (699)? Her carefree way of handling money exasperates her husband. He wants to make her happy, but he isn't able to give her what he doesn't have. He doesn't know about the loan, at first, and, to him and the audience, it appears that she is just throwing her money away hopelessly.

Mrs. Linde, on the other hand, knows what it is like to not have money to spare. She values money, but for an entire different purpose. The looks at it for what it is worth, and how it can help her survive. Her entire life she has had to work hard for anything that she wanted or needed. "Well, anyway," she responded to Nora's remark on having stacks of money, "it would be lovely enough to have enough for necessities" (703). To survive, she "had to scrape up



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