Nora and Torvald Helmer Book Review by Bahji

An analysis of the differences in the characters of both Nora and Torvald Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's dramatic play "A Doll's House".
# 151776 | 821 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | MA
Published on Sep 25, 2012 in Drama and Theater (World) , English (Analysis)

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Nora and Torvald Helmer are two major characters represented as wife and husband in Henrik Ibsen's play "A Doll's House". This paper examines how Ibsen's thorough characterisation of both characters through action and dialogue depicts quasi-real personae that embody the motives and attitudes of a typical couple in a realistic context. The paper also examines how when compared, Nora and Torvald demonstrate many differences at the level of personality, self-awareness, and the reaction of the stereotypical gender differentiations.

From the Paper:

"A preliminary analogy between Nora and Torvald is to acquaint us with their personality traits and qualities which are acquired through the process of socialisation rather than being natural. Feminist thinker Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her book The Second Sex (1972) that "one is not born, but rather, becomes a woman"1, and this can be applicable to Nora's case. In the play, we may notice that almost all of Nora's attitudes and behaviours are a complete sham intended to achieve specific purposes. In the play, she recurrently calls herself 'Squirrel' and 'Skylark' to Please Torvald and persuade him draw back from his decision which threatens her 'doll's house'. Her happiness and satisfaction represented in her buying the Christmas tree, playing with the children, and dancing the Tarantella are also feigned as she confesses at the end of the play. In this way, Nora becomes the product of a male-dominated society. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Debeauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. London: Vintage. 1972. Print.
  • Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. The Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classic Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18202-1291. Web edition. Page 32.

Cite this Book Review:

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