Theme Of Fatherhood In A Doll's House

1139 Words 5 Pages
In A Doll 's House, Henrik Ibsen writes a feminist play told through his characters of Nora Helmer and her husband, Torvald. In the beginning of the play, Ibsen writes Nora as someone who is submissive to her husband as a result of her upbringing with her father. She follows her husband 's word and does not question his authority. She is a mother of three who is caring yet somewhat distant. In the play, she is hiding a horrible secret; a secret that saved her husband 's life. Once Torvald finds out about it, he reveals his true colors and lets his anger overtake him. Nora finally leaves the situation, slamming the door on her way out. Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House goes against the social norms of marriage and motherhood not just because Nora …show more content…
Examples of this are written all throughout the play. Krogstad blackmails Nora, Doctor Rank comes onto Nora though she rejects him, Nora 's father and Torvald treats her as a lesser. Torvald 's and Nora 's fathers actions are felt the most through the play. Fatherhood is usually shown as stable and a source of power. In A Doll 's House, fatherhood is depicted "with abandonment, illness, absence, and corruption" (Rosefeldt). Nora 's friend, Christine Linde, is one example of someone who didn 't have a father figure in her life. Christine has to marry a man she does not love to take care of her brothers and mother. Her father 's absence made Christine find a new father figure in the man she married (Rosefeldt). Torvald is another example of Ibsen 's depiction of failed fatherhood. Torvald, often absent from his children 's lives, thinks the mother is the person who should take care of children. Torvald also takes shots at Nora 's father saying, "All your father 's want of principle has come out in you. No religion, no morality, no sense of duty - How I am punished for having winked at what he did" (Ibsen 62). Torvald is essentially blaming Nora 's father for everything that is wrong with her. Torvald puts none of the blame on himself for treating Nora as someone less. Nora 's father might have made Nora who she is, but Torvald is the one who pushes to the edge, resulting in her leaving. The only person Torvald blames is …show more content…
If she does, she is a monster" (Brooks). Nora leaves her children because she does not feel fit to serve as their mother anymore. Nora was taught, through society, that a mother cannot be just anybody; a mother has to be a truly caring person. After Torvald rants about Nora being unfit for a mother, she starts to believe him. "But I shall not allow you to bring up the children; I dare not trust them to you" (Ibsen 63). Nora conformed to the idea that she had to listen to the men in her life, and she had up until this point. Torvald 's rant against her pushes Nora to a new sense of consciousness. Nora does not think she can bring up their children anymore and leaves them to Torvald. Nora is hiding behind a mask. She feels her children can protect her until she can no longer "wear" the mask. Once Torvald takes off her mask, Nora feels she is hurting the children by staying (Brooks). Nora gains strength for her children and leaves Torvald and the life she led behind. Nora is trying to protect them just as they protected

Related Documents