A Dolls House Nora Helmer is an example of a modern feminist. She leaves her husband and children behind to save herself from the role that has been given to her. Nora goes through many changes throughout Ibsens A Dolls House. Nora Helmers journey in this play is one full of self discovery, which she comes upon when she leaves, at the end of the play. Nora Helmer is a woman who does not have her own identity. She has been defined by everyone else in her life.
Ibsens play asks you to consider why Nora does not have an identity of her own, this can be seen through Nora being associated with many different things throughout the play. Nora Helmer doesnt have a strong sense of self because she is defined as being the perfect wife and mother, which she tried to live up her entire life. Nora Helmer has been lead to believe that a woman’s place is in the home and this makes it difficult for Nora to leave her family. Nora also feels that she must be a part of whatever her husband does.
Nora was just doing things because Torvald said so, Nora only did things Torvald wanted her too (Pg 3). All these examples show how Nora is not able to think for herself; Nora has always had someone telling what they thought she should do. At one point in A Dolls House Nora says “Do you think Im really such an unnatural daughter? Nora is saying that Torvald has made Nora feel like a bad daughter because Nora wants to be independent. She is trying to make Nora think shes the only one who cares about her children, Nora begins to see that not everyone is on Torvald’s side.
When Nora says “Oh, youre all on his side” (Pg 4) Nora realizes how alone she really feels. Nora Helmer doesnt have a strong sense of self because she does what other people want for her and thinks of others more than herself. As seen when Torvald asks Nora if she would do anything for him and Nora replies with “Yes I would actually”. This shows how Nora just does things for other people without thinking about herself. While Nora continues to live in her imaginary world Nora doesnt realize that she is unhappy. Nora Helmer has always tried hard to please Torvald, Nora has even been willing to kill for him.
Nora absolutely loves Torvald and tries her hardest to make him happy, however Nora does not have a sense of self because she doesnt know who she is without Torvald. Nora wants so desperately for Torvald to love her, but Nora cannot be herself around him because its almost as if Nora cant breathe when he’s around. Nora shows how she will do anything for his love saying “as long as I can keep your love”. Nora doesnt have a strong sense of self because all she really wants is someone’s affection and this makes it difficult for Nora to leave her family.
Nora does not have a strong sense of self because she is not brave enough to stand on her own two feet Nora Helmer as A Dolls House Nora Helmer says “I dont know how it happens but gradually I begin not to care about anything, or anyone”. Nora has come to the realization that something must change. Nora’s identity is only seen through others views of her, which she compares herself too. When Nora doesnt measure up its as if she ceases to exist. Nora wants so desperately to be free from this existence where she is nothing more than what others think of her.
Nora has come to realize that being defined by what people think of you can hinder ones creativity and personal growth (Pg 13). Nora does not have a strong sense of self because Nora constantly compares herself to others. Nora Helmer finally realizes that Nora must leave Torvald if she ever wants to be able to stand on her own two feet, which seems impossible at this moment in time because Nora is constantly walking on eggshells around Torvald. Nora Helmer says “Im lying when I say That he never hits me”. Nora has come to accept the fact that living with Torvald means accepting violence.
When Nora tries to make peace with him he begins yelling, Nora still always gives into what Torvald wants even if its just temporary-which makes it difficult for Nora to live life on her own terms. When things get bad Nora tells herself everything will be okay, Nora can not live without Torvald in her life. Nora Helmer doesnt have a strong sense of self because Nora is only seen when shes with Torvald Nora feels as if he is all that matters to her. Nora does not have a strong sense of self because Nora will always put others before herself. Nora Helmer says “I feel happy and excited’
Nora experiences happiness outside of being with Torvald- something she never thought was possible Nora talks about how difficult it is to fall asleep after experiencing such powerful emotions. Nora has finally found the courage to leave the house and go somewhere where she can breathe for once in her life. While Nora used to think marriage was so romantic, now its something Nora is desperate to escape. Nora does not desire Torvald anymore because Nora knows how deep down Nora Helmer wants to be free from his abuse and control. Nora needs to feel like shes in charge of her own destiny.
Nora has begun questioning the idea that “Ill love you for ever-You must know that”- saying “I cant live without you! I have no courage, when Im alone”. Nora Helmer realizes this will never work because Nora’s identity only seems to exist when its connected to Torvalds. Nora doesnt have a strong sense of self because Nora has been defined by other people since she was little girl wanting attention from others by playing the role of the perfect child/young woman. In A Doll House Nora Helmer says “Oh Nora, Nora, Nora! What have you done? ” Nora has made a life changing decision and Nora is wondering if that was the right choice after all.