This play put me through different emotions while its events quickly escalated. At first, I regarded Nora, Torvald Helmer’s wife, as a spoiled, selfish, and stupid trophy wife who only wanted money and Torvald as the husband who adores and would do anything for his wife. These assumptions aren’t accurate but aren’t exactly false either.
I’ve been told that watching my reactions to shows, movies, plays, etc is as funny, or even funnier than what is being watched. While watching the play, I remember being completely repulsed at Nora’s squirrel-like actions when trying to get Torvald to do what she wants and rolling my eyes almost every time they interacted before Krogstad started blackmailing Nora.
I never trusted Kristine and it didn’t sit right with me how she just swooped in and took Krogstad’s job maybe even hours after he was fired and was even more suspicious of her rushing to try and persuade Krogstad to retract his letter and seemingly being the ‘hero’ of the play.
I was visibly shocked at Torvald’s major reason for firing Krogstad which was in fact really petty.
The audacity of Nora to openly flirt with Dr. Rank who she knows likes her and then be shocked when he professes his love left me flabbergasted.
And the slap? I was offended on her behalf. His actions afterward disgusted me.
I am almost very sure that each and more of these emotions were shown on my face and would have cracked up anyone watching me.
Yet, I still managed to understand some of the characters’ actions to a certain point. However petty the reason, Torvald had the power to put an end to the blatant disrespect Krogstad showed and so he did. I would too if someone who I went to school with years ago assumes that we are friends and automatically thinks he can be as familiar as he wants. The main problem is that we are not friends. This shines a light on the topic of boundaries and knowing one’s place in the workplace.
Nora and Torvald’s relationship was based on love. Unfortunately, the love wasn’t between them but of each’s idea of the other.
The slap, though unnecessary, served as a real eye-opener for Nora and let her stop and think because, in her mind, the man that she loved wouldn’t react or address her in such a manner. It was almost as if her rose-colored glasses fell away during their interaction and made her realize that she does not know the man she married.
This makes Kristine’s decision to try and stop Krogstad from his continuous blackmail of Nora and still stop him from going immediately retracting his letter very smart and shows her as probably the only sensible character in the whole play.
In conclusion, as I stated earlier, my assumptions were accurate at Nora being a trophy wife and Torvald ‘loving’ his wife but not entirely at her being selfish and stupid and Torvald willing to do anything for his wife. Therefore, this entire play is an emotional rollercoaster that I was not willing to go on but had to to get a good grade and it made me think about some things. The main question is Do you love someone or do you love the idea of what you want them to be?