Henrik Ibsen Compare And Contrast Essay

One fateful winter’s evening would be the catalyst of change in a quiet housewife’s life. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Torvald and Nora Helmer appeared to be the perfect parents to a perfect family. This illusion came to an end when it had been revealed Mrs. Helmer had been keeping a large, dangerous secret from her husband. The secret had been exposed, however, there was no longer a threat of danger to the public reputation of the couple. Although the Helmer’s had their picture-perfect life back to safety, their life could not go back to normal because Norma no longer loved her husband. She promised to leave her family behind in hopes of a brighter future for everyone, including herself. Despite the story ending in a consistent way, Ibsen …show more content…
Helmer would have stayed with her family in the end of A Doll’s House, the story would be drastically different, as well as inconsistent with the message it sent. In the original storyline, the main character, Nora, came to the painful realization she did not love her husband. The realization came to her after their initial conflict over fraud was resolved. Although her husband, Torvald, had forgiven her of secretly making a deal with Krogstad, Nora was not willing to accept his forgiveness. When Torvald was initially in trouble, he verbally attacked his wife and then pretended nothing happened when the conflict dissolved. Nora found Torvald’s behavior to be disgusting and vile, which in turn made her realize she did not truly love him. In addition to not loving her husband, she concluded Torvald does not listen to or value her. On page 1646, Mrs. Helmer explains, “You’ve always been kind to me, but our home’s been nothing but a playroom. I’ve been your doll-wife, the same way that I was Papa’s doll-child.” (Ibsen) The quote stands out in the text because this was the moment Nora realized her husband treated her as something he could control and ‘play’ with, not as a wife. Because she was enlightened about her situation, she did not want to stay with him. In turn, if Nora would have stayed with her family anyway as part of an alternate ending, it would make little sense because it was made clear, Mrs. Helmer did not wish to remain married. Because she did not want …show more content…
Throughout Nora’s journey in the play, it often hints to her nurse-maid taking care of the children. For example, in the opening scenes, the children were not home because they were with the nurse-maid. When Nora attempted to decorate the tree, she had the children stay upstairs with the nurse-maid once again. It is extremely apparent the children are with their maid every day, versus spending time with their mother. Because of this, Nora began to question her parenting. At one point, she asks the nurse-maid about raising other people’s children, but most importantly, if the children would miss their parents if they disappeared. This simple question shed a light on Nora’s true feelings about being a mother. Identically, Nora recalled how she did not get to know her own mother because she was raised by a nurse-maid as well. This part of the play foreshadowed Nora’s feelings at the end of the play. While arguing, Torvald commands Nora to not raise the children anymore because he is convinced she is corrupt. After he had scolded her, Nora realized she is an unfit mother for her children. To solve the issue, Nora planned to leave her family and never look back. In the alternate ending, Nora watched her children asleep and decided to stay for their sake. The course of action taken does not make sense because Nora acknowledged she does not know what she is doing when it came to

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