Happiness And Happiness In A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen

1181 Words 5 Pages
Happiness is the ultimate goal in life for many people. It is a sign of success and prosperity which are qualities that society pressures everyone to achieve. But how does one obtain authentic well-being in confining situations? In his play, A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen demonstrates that if an individual lives in restrictive circumstances that force them to conform to a superior’s desires, they must mature and pursue genuine happiness in order to gain freedom and discover their identity. Nora, the protagonist, is a young woman who secretly breaks the law to save her husband’s life even though he treats her like a child. However, when she is blackmailed with this information, she begins to doubt their love and her desire for liberation increases. …show more content…
Often, the way others treat an individual becomes a part of the individual’s identity, especially in restrictive circumstances. Thus, as Torvald regards her as a child with pet names like “little squirrel,” Nora acts accordingly and pursues things she believes are within her reach. She finds pleasure in buying her children gifts and keeping the house clean and pretty, just the way Torvald likes it. But she also rebels and lies as a little child would by buying and eating macaroons despite Torvald banning them. All of these give her a false sense of contentment in her situation. However, Nora is still caged within her house and craves a sense of responsibility like a proper adult. Through deceit, Nora is able to achieve this by borrowing money to save Torvald’s life while still keeping her perfect dependent doll like image. If Torvald knew the truth, this breaking of the traditional roles would ruin “[their] beautiful happy …show more content…
As Krogstad reveals the danger of her situation and threatens her childish delights, Nora begins to recognize that her desires and “everything [she has done] seems so silly and insignificant”. The truth could quickly turn her joy of saving Torvald into despair as it ruins their relationship. Hence, for the time being, Nora continues to lie to Torvald and allows him to play doll with her so she can hold on to her false sense of contentment. Similarly, Krogstad also tries to keep a grasp on his job and reputation - his own distorted happiness - by blackmailing Nora. Maturation is necessary in order for either of them to move on. While Nora understands this, she is “still very like a child” as she resists change despite the flaws of her marriage. But she also desires freedom which requires tearing their relationship further. She is too anxious about the consequences to actively chase this freedom. Instead, she carries on wearing her dress to please Torvald and hide the truth. She merely hopes “a wonderful thing will happen” - Torvald will bear the burden of her foolish decision and they can preserve their artificial euphoria. The tarantella is also a part of her performance as a doll wife and pursuit of joy. With it, Nora dances for her life of childish joy by distracting Torvald from Krogstad’s letter. The letter, or rather the truth, will be the death of her current happiness. At the same time, her wild dancing is too much

Related Documents