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The Big Decision In A Doll's House

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In Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House", the main character is Nora Helmer. She is the wife of Torvald Helmer, a wealthy bank manager. Nora gets involved in a big conflict between her and Torvald over forgery and doesn't know what to do. Nora cannot accept the fact that her husband cares more for himself, then he does for her. In the end she finally decides to leave her family and it is the one mature and intelligent thing that she does throughout the whole play.

In the beginning of this play Nora acts very childish, succumbing to her husband's every wish and desire. She acts as if she is his play toy, instead of a wife and mother. She has three children with Torvald and yet acts as if her children are more mature then she is. Her one goal in life is to keep Torvald happy at any cost, besides get money from him. She needs to get this money to help pay off the bond she borrowed from Krogstad, when her husband was ill and dying. This is the conflict and cause of her dramatic change. Nora doesn't seem to think before she acts, and seems to be under Torvald's control. No matter what is going on or how foolish she looks, she will do everything in her power to please him. And Torvald takes full advantage of this, and at one point even gets her to cry like a puppy.

Nora looks pathetic throughout most of this play when around Torvald. She acts much differently in front of her friends, then when Torvald is around. She doesn't want to do anything to displease him and doesn't act as she wants to. It is almost as if Torvald is he father and she doesn't want to get punished for doing anything wrong. A horrible way to live, but she doesn't seem to mind. Once Krogstad tries to use the bond as a bribe to get his job back, Nora loses it. She doesn't want Torvald to know about the bond even though she did it to save his life. Krogstad is despised by Torvald because of his forgery and Nora has now committed the same exact crime. Nora does everything in her power to keep this secret from Torvald. As she dances for him she dances the wrong way just so he will spend time trying to correct her mistakes. She is only dancing to please him anyway for he wants her to practice so she won't look foolish at the ball. Eventually the inevitable happens and Torvald reads the letter from Krogstad. Nora debates leaving and committing suicide, but before she can leave Torvald stops her.

Torvald is very angry and basically abuses Nora calling her a "stupid woman" over and over again. He blames her for everything and Nora



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