A Doll's House, Nora's True Identity

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Nora’s True Identity in A Doll’s House 4

Nora’s True Identity in A Doll’s House

Role play seems to be the name of the game in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The main characters in the play pretend to be someone whom others would like them to be, instead of being their true selves. The person that stands out the most as a character whose role play is almost impeccable – to the point where it seems she leads two different lives – is Nora. She is Torvald’s loving and childish wife and unknowingly, even to herself, a strong, independent woman. As the play progresses, Nora’s persona shifts from that of the everyday playful, trophy wife, as seen by Torvald and friends, to that of a self-empowering, wilful woman.

Nora’s first impression on the audience is that of an obedient, money-loving, childish wife. In the first act, Nora seems to just want money from her husband Torvald. In the first encounter with Torvald, after showing him what she just bought for their kids, she doesn’t delay herself in asking for money. Even when she is asked what she would like for Christmas, money is her answer. It is impressive how Torvald addresses Nora as she was just a little girl, or even as a pet; “My little lark mustn’t droop her wings like that. What? Is my squirrel in the sulks?”

It seems as if he is talking to a child. And he says this as he is giving her money, thus making their interaction seem akin to that of a grown grandparent giving money to his precious granddaugh...

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