A Doll’s House is a play Henrik Ibsen which featurescharacters such as Torvald, Norah, Dr. Rank, and Krogstad among others. Themovie brings out Norah and Torvald Helmer to be the main characters in thefilm. At the beginning of the movie, the Helmer family seems to be happytogether despite the fact that Torvald speaks to Norah in a demeaning manner,yet she doesn’t appear to mind. Torvald gets a new job as a manager at a bank,and the family becomes happier since they will not have to worry about money anymore.The story also introduces Christine as Norah’s old friend who comes searchingfor work with hopes that Torvald will hook her up.
As the film continues, Norah confesses of her debt toKrogstad to Christine but does not mention that it was Krogstad’s debt. Norahfrom Krogstad had borrowed the money to fund a one-year family trip to Italyhence it was warmer in Italy as per the doctor’s prescription to Torvald whohad been sick from overwork. Apparently, Krogstad was an employee of the bankbefore Torvald took over and as the manager, he replaces Krogstad withChristine. Krogstad becomes furious and threatens to expose Norah’s debt andthe way it was acquired if Norah would not convince her husband to let Krogstadkeep his job. Torvald refuses to say that Krogstad was a dishonest employee whoforged signatures and that Torvald disliked and despised such people sayingthat they should not be allowed near the kids since they would corrupt thekids. Torvald’s statement makes Norah freak out to the extent that she doesn’twant to go near the kids afraid that she would corrupt them.
The film also introduces Dr. Rank as a family friend to theHelmer’s and depicts that he is dying from Tuberculosis. Also, the situationbetween Norah and Krogstad worsens since Krogstad sends a blackmail letter toTorvald who doesn’t open it since they have a party to attend with Norah. Inthe process, Christine and Krogstad agree to get married on condition thatKrogstad does not harm Norah’s family and Christine suggests that Krogstadshould not withdraw the blackmail letter so that the truth in the family can berevealed. When Torvald learns of Christine’s past actions, he is furious withher to the extent of not allowing her to be with the kids and is also afraid ofthe blackmail until Krogstad assures them that he has withdrawn the extortion.
Torvald forgives Norah, but she insists on leaving claiming that she had neverbeen anything more than a doll in Torvalds’ eyes and that their marriage wasnot genuine.Character Analysis: Norah Helmer i. PhysicalAspectIn Scene 1, Trovald berates the physical appearance of Norahby calling her his ‘little sweet tooth’ when he was asking her, “Has my sweetlittle tooth been indulging herself in town today by any chance (Isben 9)?” Assuch, Norah was depicted as little in the eyes of her husband and probably evenin those of the audience. This demeaning goes to the extent that she sneaksmacaroons to avoid eating them in front of her husband for the fear that hemight not approve. More so, Torvald is particularly clear on Norah’s figureclaiming that she ought to stay dainty, small and delicate. This aspect bringsout the male’s role in their society where it depicts that the male shouldalways be superior and in control.
It doesn’t matter to Torvald whether it wasNorah’s image he was to control or the forgery of Norah’s father’s signaturesince the act angers Trovald a lot. According to Torvald, his reputation andthat of Norah are the most crucial things in the world and should be guardedagainst harm by all means (Isben ii. MoralAspectNorah is depicted as such a loving and caring wife toTorvald.
She learns of her husband’s illness and the degree of seriousness fromthe doctor, and she is advised to ensure that they take a holiday trip to awarmer region since it is the only means of saving her husband’s life. Sincethe family was not wealthy, she decides to take a loan to fund their trip toItaly to save her husband’s life. She even goes to the extent of forging herfather’s signature and trying to pay off the debt on her own later when Trovaldgets better. She sacrifices herself that much despite her feeling of beingdenied freedom by both her father and her husband where she says, “Ipassed out of daddy’s hand into yours (Isben 56).” Also, she is a loyal and faithful friend. When Christineapproaches her requesting her to ask her husband to hook Christine up with ajob, she is completely confident in her husband’s decision and assuresChristine saying, “And so he shall, Kristine.
Just leave things to me (Isben14).” Norah is also seen to be tenacious and daring. This isbrought out by the part where she forged her father’s signature to acquire theloan. It took a fearless person to go against the law to save someone she loves iii. SocietalAspectIbsen displays Norah as both wise and childish where theseaspects have emerged to be her strongest qualities. Her wisdom is not based onknowledge acquired from books nor those from doctrines. This aspect has beenproven by the instance where her practical education was injured by her fatherand her husband, yet she was able to retain enough native wisdom to identifyand confront emergencies. She can think of forging a signature to acquire theloan she seeks to save her husband hence showing how unsophisticated andindependent she is at thought (Isben 45).
Also, she can discern that her duties to her family comebefore anything else in the world through taking the risk of going against thelaw to save her husband’s life. As such, despite the society’s aspect of a manbeing superior and control over women, Norah proves that the society’s normswere not more important than her family since the society would not be completeand whole if people did not look after their families. iv. PsychologicalAspectNorah is introduced in the play as a quite a cheerful andhappy character as she goes around her duty of preparing for Christmas.
Norahis far from being happy due to the secrets she is hiding from her husband aswell as the burden she has to bear of paying a loan she borrowed for herhusband’s sake. She sacrifices herself too much for her husband and even goesto the extent of breaking the rules through fraud to acquire the loan to saveher husband’s life. To show how much she cares, she says that, “And besides,how painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manlyindependence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutualrelations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it isnow (Isben 23).” To make matters worse, her suffering is intensified when sherealizes that her husband loves only himself and his image and does not lovehis wife as much. Social attitudes and gender roles are all her husband caresabout. Torvald says that “From this moment happiness is not the question; allthat concerns us is to save the remains, the fragments, the appearance (Isben101).” Torvald is not only ashamed of Norah’s actions but is also afraidof the damage to his reputation that would result from their divorce. As a result, Norah is unable to withstand thepsychological suffering she had been going through and decided to walk out onher marriage, her children, and the dollhouse.
ConclusionBriefly, the essay has successfully analyzed the maincharacter in the play, Norah, basing the discussion on the four levels ofcharacterization which include the societal, psychological, moral, and physicalaspects. Norah is displayed as a wise, strong, tenacious, daring, loving andcaring individual who goes to extreme ends to save her husband’s life, yet hedoes not appreciate any of her actions and instead reprimands her for them. Assuch, she opts to finally walk out on her marriage since she grown tired ofbeing treated like a doll and wants to be independent.