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A Doll's House 5

  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2010 11:18 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.4 
  • Words: 713
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A housewife’s dream: the perfect house, beautiful children, a delightful husband, and “piles and piles of money”. All these things and more fill Nora’s head at the start of Henrik Ibsen’s _A Doll’s House_. Nora’s husband Torvald Helmer has just become the manger at the bank he works at and will receive a significant raise. Nora acts as a child flitting around the house and telling anyone and everyone about her good fortunes while Torvald indulges her and call her names such as “lark” and “squirrel”.
Nora unwraps her purchases from the day flaunting them as she expresses her jubilation about the vast amount of money that will soon be at her disposal. Ibsen fluidly weaves in the exposition of the play through Nora and her husband’s first conversation. The reader immediately senses the kind of relationship the two of them have. Torvald chastises Nora for her habit of being a “spendthrift”. Torvald’s “little lark” Nora is just a simple woman who cannot accurately discern what is good from bad; it is his job to guide her. Readers may pick up on Nora’s insubordinate position but for the time being everyone seems content and ready to live life with the new excess of funds.
Later on in the act, Kristine Linde arrives, a friend of Nora’s from her school girl days. Mrs. Linde provides a picture a woman not as well-off as Nora. Mrs. Linde’s husband has died leaving her a widow with no inheritance and forcing her to find a job to support herself and her children. Mrs. Linde provides a nice down-to-earth contrast to Nora’s giddy obsession with money. Perhaps because of Mrs. Linde’s lower social status, Nora feels able to confide in her friend, her deepest secret and the play’s main conflict.
When Torvald was sick many years ago, doctors urged the couple to move south to Italy to allow him to recover. Without the means to make the trip, it seemed Torvald’s health was in jeopardy. Nora quickly concocted a plan. She would borrow the money, but tell Torvald it had been...


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