The play written by Henrik Ibsen was like an emotional roller coaster. The plot filled with patriarchy, misogyny and the sacrificial role of women truly made me stop and think about feminism today.
Before and even as I was reading the play, I was really confused about the name of it. I couldn’t grasp why its name is “A Doll’s House” and had different theories of why that might have been the choice. At first I thought this was going to be related to the children of Nora, since I thought about dolls being connected to childhood, but this theory quickly became inexact because the play focuses on Nora itself. A “childish” woman.
As I got closer to the end of the book, everything made sense. I think the name choice was brilliant, we really get the sense of it when we get to the lines onp182
“When I was at home with Daddy, he told me all his opinions..He called me his doll-child, and he played with me..” “..I then went from daddy’s hand over into yours.”
As we watched the movie, I remarked how the actress barely said a word during the scene when Torvald finds out about the whole situation. The absence of words and emotions made a great impact because we are left with our own thoughts at this moment, and oh I felt so disappointed. We can only imagine how Nora felt in the moment, heartbroken? Crushed? Miserable? This reaction of Helmer wasn’t unexpected, but in the movie when Torvald slaps his wife, that was what left me in utter shock. I mean, the physical abuse of that time is not the shocker, it is rather the fact that it got down to it.
Needless to say, I was very intrigued when the scene of Nora and Torvald sitting down to have a “serious conversation, first time in 8 years of their marriage” came along. After all of this dreadful and hopeless amount of pages of misogyny, we are finally being rewarded with a grand finale.
Nora demands Torvald to sit down and not interrupt her as she speaks; shocked at her sudden loss of fear, this is probably the strongest moment in the whole play. I was practically cheering when she stated that she will leave and educate herself, and that she wants nothing from Torvald, making him take his wedding ring off too. That she will only take the things she owns, even though she owns very little, this shows how independent she is and will not tolerate any control over her any longer.
I did not enjoy this play as much as The Merchant of Venice despite the fact that this pay has an actual happy ending. Everything is resolved. Nora leaves her abusive husband and I believe will definitely have a bright future; as for comparison, the play by Shakespeare leaves us with so many questions left for us to decide on what is true to us. Cannot say if I like the author or not at this point, I will need to read a few more books by Henrik Ibsen in order to have a formed opinion of his oeuvre.