Ibsen's Final Scene Analysis

1443 Words 6 Pages
The final act of Ibsen’s play takes place after the party, and it culminates in Nora and Torvald’s argument which leads to Nora’s decision to leave. Originally, Nora planned to take her own life in order to spare Torvald the task of dealing with her actions. However, Torvald stops her before she proceed with her plan, and the two have a nasty row. This confrontation reveals Nora’s place in the Helmer family, and she realizes that Torvald does not love her in the way she desires. Moreover, Nora also realizes that she is not as equipped to be a good wife and mother as she perhaps originally believed. Torvald’s harsh words to her cause her to consider the effects of these ideas:
TORVALD: No fine speeches, please. Your father had always plenty
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Furthermore, their performances feature elements that are stereotypically more in line with their opposite gender. For example, from the beginning of the confrontation to the end of the film, Anthony Hopkin’s Torvald is unreasonable, emotional, and does not think before he speaks, yells, pleads, or cries with Nora. For once, it is him denied the necessary tools in order to understand the situation. However, unlike Nora, he does not have a history with this experience and is unable to change the situation to benefit …show more content…
Finding her true voice, she slowly changes physically throughout the remainder of the production. All the while, Torvald remains in their bedroom, singing under her and doing his best to change her mind. Povinelli’s eyes are closed the entire time, as though Torvald may still be asleep during Nora’s transformation. After a tearful conversation that evolves into singing, Nora strips herself of her clothes and her hair. Torvald remains in the bed or at least with his eyes closed. As Nora transforms into her true self, Torvald must be left behind. They sing the remainder of the play to one another, and Nora returns to her higher plane while Torvald remains in the bedroom. Both productions offer interpretations of the culmination of this complicated power dynamic present in the Helmer marriage. Judith Butler discusses aspects of this power dynamic usually present between men and women in her book. Particularly, Butler analyzes the effect sexuality can have in influencing power: The pro-sexuality movement within feminist theory and practice has effectively argued that sexuality is always constructed within the terms of discourse and power, where power is partially understood in terms of heterosexual and phallic cultural conventions
[...] If sexuality is culturally constructed within existing power relations, then the postulation of a normative sexuality that is ‘before’, ‘outside’, or ‘beyond’ power is a cultural impossibility

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