Personal Response to: A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House, written by Henrick Ibsen raised many questions about what is right and what is wrong when it comes to your dignity. Nora lives in a middle-class family, meaning they have the funds to live a pleasant life. However, the word pleasant will never be a safe way to describe this family. With a loan constricting Nora’s reputation, she finds herself pleasing her husband for money. This loan is not however the only problem within the family… The love and dignity we see within the story are not meant to be together. Nora loves Torvald but the moment Torvald shows doubt in his love for her Nora realizes that she no longer loves him. “I would gladly work night and day for you, Nora-bear pain and hardship for your sake. But nobody would sacrifice their honour for the one they love” (p. 186). This is something I feel most women during the 1870s would disagree with. While the man may think that his reputation is more important than love, the women would most probably want love over reputation. The essence in which holds a family together is love, and without it, even from one person, the family cannot live. 

Nora’s character encompassed the idea of love, regret, and change, we saw these ideas as the play progressed. Nora in the book showed love towards most of the characters. She loved: her three children, Ms. Linde, Mr. Rank, and Torvald… This strong bond she shared with all these people caused her to worry ever so more about the loan and Krogstad’s ability to ruin her family’s lives. We saw that she regretted signing the loan, even if she did not say anything, we could see the regret with her facial emotions. She was trapped and her love was the only thing keeping her together but at the same time breaking her life apart. 

Living in a middle-class family, Torvald seemed like an unpleasant husband to Nora because of how he held control over her. “When did my squirrel get home?” (p. 110). With constant animal names, it seemed as if Torvald was showing the difference between Nora and him. The difference is that he was a human, and she was his little animal, his doll. A doll is something children play with, something you keep. We see how Torvald plays around with his doll Nora. With animal names and love which seems one-sided, Nora is like an object to Torvald. He controls her because he is the man, and she accepts it. Nora acts accordingly as Torvald expects her too just so she can get money from him to pay off the loan which Torvald does not know about. 

Krogstad was never a villain, he only acted for his honor and his family, which is what made his actions seem evil. Within the book, there is no inclusion as to how Krogstad’s home looks. Viewing the movie made us sympathize with him even after what he said to Nora. We realize that Krogstad is barely living, he is poor and must take care of his children by himself, he has no one really to love. Not having even an ounce of love in his life made him commit forgery and this is what ruined his entire career moving forward.  

While with some characters we can sympathize with and others we cannot, A Doll’s House shows how love can change everything within your life, it can be what makes you happy, but it can also be what causes your pain. 

4 thoughts on “Personal Response to: A Doll’s House”

  1. A trait about A Doll’s House is that what seems genuine at first glance is actually the opposite when inspected deeply morally. Krogstad needed his money, using inethical ways to get it, but wasn’t he already in a tough situation? Torvald did love and protect Nora, but was it in at way that made her feel good about herself? And money, although they had plenty of it, it was money which drove Nora and Torvald apart, and the lack of it which drove Mrs. Linde and Krogstad together. Very interesting.

  2. I think it is peculiar that you think all women during the 1800s would choose love over reputation. I believe that this was forced on women, they had to choose love because they had no other option to live a decent life. Other than that, I throughly enjoyed reading your post!! Good job!

  3. I agree that Krogstad’s character is really interesting in that he is not really a villain, despite being the villain of the story. I think that stories almost always benefit from taking this approach. Being able to sympathize with Krogstad adds an entire other layer to the story that would be absent if he was completely evil.

  4. I really appreciated your insight on who you believe Nora to truly be as well as the values and morals she upholds. I agree with the facts that she is an incredibly loving person, although I do question if some of it is fake or if it truly is all genuine.

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