A Dolls House Character Analysis Essay




A Doll’s House Character Analysis

A Doll’s House is a masterfully crafted play replete with fascinating scenes, drama, and character interaction that creatively shapes the plot. The play brings into focus two main characters, such as Torvald Helmer and Nora, who are both husband and wife, respectively. The character of Torvald and Nora are highly intertwined and depends on each other through the play. The two characters are essential in enhancing the plot, themes, and styles of the play as their intertwining roles are significant. For instance, being husband and wife, it is apparent that the two stay in the same house and share a lot in terms of children, friends, and ideas. Torvald is, however, the man of the house and one that is brought out as a superior human over her wife and dominates and taunts her for a long time. In the eyes of Torvald, Nora appears like a puppet or a doll that is there to be used and commanded. The character of Nora is what is seen as calm, one at the start as the patriarchy society seems to dominate her existence. Torvald is, however, seen as the most dominant and one that provokes all potential characters in the play. The characteristics of Torvald and Nora are of great significance in the play, and their importance is excellently portrayed by exploring the similarities and differences between the two characters.

Torvald is an essential character in A Doll’s House. He is a man and the husband to Nora, who is seen as an aggressive and hard-working man. He has been able to build a rather stable family by working as a bank manager. He is a top figure in the bank, and all other workers depend on him for promotions. For instance, an old friend of his wife visits to get a chance for a job at the bank. Also, he fires a bank employee named Krogstad, and this confirms his aggressive nature and harsh in his actions. Besides, Torvald is a stronger believer in the patriarchy society where men are seen as superior to women. This is seen through his interaction with his wife. He treats her like a little child and guides her in everything. He believes in his authoritative role as a man in marriage, and their interaction resembles that of a daughter and father (Iseni, p.7). He also guides her on the moral aspects of life and advises her that families are not supposed to be built on loans. Further, she teaches her to dance and at some time, wished her wife would face some imminent danger so that he can rescue her. The character of Torvald, therefore, portrays a man under intense pressure to prove himself healthy and caring to the wife. However, by doing this, he puts the wife into psychological torture as she is not able to explore her views on the family matter. Nora, on the other hand, seems to be a patient and calm housewife who obeys her husband unconditionally. She is also the link through which visitors meet her husband. For instance, she can connect his old school mate Kristine to his husband as she wants to assist her in acquiring a job (Ibsen, p. 34).

Nora is caring. She is brought out as a strong-willed woman who is wise and caring to the family and even friends. For instance, when Torvald is sick, she is the one who gets out of this to get a loan secretly to cater to a huge hospital bill. Importantly, she has to lie about the money to make her husband comfortable in accepting help. Besides, she is seen as a caring mother because; she welcomes visitors to her home and tries her best to make them comfortable. Clearly, one crucial visitor is Kristine, who they schooled together. She tries her best to assist her in acquiring a job. In addition, she tries to convince her husband to reinstate Krogstad to his job at the bank (Waddell, p.1). In addition, she has all through cared for her husband and children amid tremendous suffering she has been experiencing under the hands of Torvald (Iseni, p.3). On the other hand, Torvald is ruthless and does not understand his wife’s emotions. This is because; there is no single thing that her wife does that pleases him. He believes that men are superior and that all decisions should come from him. Furthermore, the family had gone through years of financial challenges, and all this time, Nora stands firm in support of Torvald. Equally important, when the family gets the financial breakthrough, Torvald is seen scolding Nora for spending much money on buying Christmas goodies. This is an essential example of the uncaring character of Torvald and the pride nature, which makes him an evil character in the play (Ibsen, p. 42).

Nora is a character that depicts the hard-working nature of a woman. The courage to take the bank loan that helps them settle the hospital bill for her husband is a great inspiration and one that makes her proud. She feels that the action of securing the loan was a good idea and is what saves the husband. Similarly, her hardworking nature is seen through her ability to work for years in repaying the loan (Iseni, p.6). She, however, hides the entire ordeal from Torvald as when she wants to be seen as a responsible and respectable woman against her husband wish to see her as incompetence. At the end, when the loan issue is discovered, the husband confronts the lady angrily against her expectations. She expects that he would feel indebted to her and even help her in repaying the loan. This loan is a confrontation among the two is what finally causes Nora to feel motivated to leave her marriage (Waddell, p.1).

Nora is a deceitful and manipulative character against the transparent nature of Torvald. Nora is seen in the eye of the audience as a reasonable person in the play. However, some of her actions are highly questionable and suggest her deceitful nature. For example, she is seen eating macaroons, which she was warned against eating by the husband, and when found eating them, she denies. Nora also hides from Torvald the issue about the loan and only discloses to her friends. She says that she will only disclose the matter to the husband when the house is aged. Eventually, another aspect of manipulation is seen through the efforts of Nora to blackmail her husband into giving Kristine a job and attempting to make Krogstad hired again. The role of Nora in their marriage is critical, and her use of deceit is due to her powerlessness in the marriage. This is because; her actions are not outright malicious and are geared towards ensuring that her husband does not question her (Ibsen, p. 67).

Torvald is a repulsive man and one that does not have many friends. He is seen as a man lonely in life as he concentrates on his study room, and only a few friends such as Dr. Rank are welcome. He is seen not to give an ear to his employees, such as Krogstad, whom he fires from the job and wants to replace him immediately. However, even these friends, such as Dr. Rank, are not as open to him as he refuses to tell him concerning his coming death (Iseni, p.3). Besides, Dr. Rank admires Torvald Wife, and this could be the reason he kept visiting him. These are an outstanding example that depicts the significance of the two characters and the manner they intertwined in enhancing the themes, plot, and even bringing out other characters. For instance, Torvald is happy that the wife is over-dependent on him and is satisfied as a husband to see her attract the attention of other people in a while dancing. She takes control as a great thing and a respectable factor as the man (Waddell, p.1).

Nora emerges as a cheerful wife. She is able to cheerfully bring up her family, including children and husband, from meager earnings to a stable family. In addition, she manages to repay the loan using little savings after saving her husband from a dangerous sickness. The idea of taking the loan and helping her husband become well is what causes the family to stir. It breaks Nora’s heart to learn that the husband does not honor her for the efforts she put in helping him out of the hospital. It is at this point that Nora begins to feel the reason for being respected as a woman. She is ready to break away from all the limitations that society has on her as a woman (Waddell, p.1). The challenge Nora goes through in her husband’s hands makes her realize that as she should not be suffering at home because of her children or husband. She, all over a sudden, she acquires the great urge to restart her life once more and decides to leave. It is a painful decision to make, but she cannot press on and stay in a home where she is not respected. The cheerful character of Nora fades away, and she remains as uncaring and desolate persons who abandon all that she has worked for in life. This character of Nora significantly differs from Torvald, who is a person who never changes his mind. The cultural customs seems to be his nature and blinds him from seeing the efforts of his wife. She fails to cheer up and change his mind about women (Alizadanuriyya, p.2).

Torvald strives to maintain his reputation as a respectable person in society. He has a caring wife, children, and a stylish mansion. At the beginning of the play, Torvald emerges as a respectable family man that has his family as the priority. Nonetheless, as the story unfolds, the reality unfolds, and it is realized that Torvald only cared about his image and reputation in society. On the other hand, his wife, Nora, is a lady that has the family at heart and does the entire struggle to see that everyone is happy. Torvald is seen to be always in the study room and is the person who tells others what to behave. He also pretends to be the only wise man to all his friends, including Dr. Frank. This prevents him from seeing anything useful from his wife, who relentless helps him out of the problems. On the verge of maintaining his reputation, Torvald fires Krogstad from the bank. He does not want to listen to the pleas of his wife and even Krogstad to have him reinstated. This brings into light the selfish nature of Torvald and his uncaring attitude. His nature becomes hard to deal with, and this is what triggers Nora to leave all she had worked for in life (Alizadanuriyya, p.1).

In conclusion, the two characters from ADoll’s House are famous and reflect on the traditional setting is the wife and husband, where the husband was seen as the superior being and the wife as a doll to follow blindly what she is told. Indeed, Torvald is seen as a loving, repulsive, proud, and rude man who scolds her wife for offering her help in his time of need. On the other hand, Nora is seen as a proud, deceitful, loving, and caring wife that stands with the husband for many years of their life.

Works Cited

Ibsen, H. A Dolls’ House. https://www2.hf.uio.no/polyglotta/public/media/libraries/file/10/A%20Dolls%20House-%20Henrik%20Ibsen.pdf

Waddell, K. A Dolls’ House Study Guide. https://www.classictheatre.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/A-Dolls-House-Study-Guide.pdf

Iseni, A. Symbolic Realism in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House: An Overview, 2014. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281906558_Symbolic_Realism_in_Ibsen’s_A_Doll’s_House_An_Overview