Escape From A Dollhouse


Word Count: 1763

Escape From A Doll House We have all felt the need to be
alone or to venture to places that our minds have only
imagined. However, we as individuals have always found
ourselves clutching to our responsibilities and obligations, to
either our jobs or our friends and family. The lingering feeling
of leaving something behind or of promises that have been
unfulfilled is a pain that keeps us from escaping. People
worldwide have yearned for a need to leave a situation or
seek spiritual fulfillment elsewhere. The need for one’s
freedom and their responsibility to others can make or break
a person. Henrik Isben’s inspirational characters of Nora
Helmer, Kristine Linde, and Nils Krogstad have all had to
suffer for their right to be individuals and to be accountable
for their actions. A woman of the tough Victorian period,
Nora Helmer was both a prisoner of her time as well as a
pioneer. In her society women were viewed as an inferior
species and were not even considered real human beings in
the eyes of the law. Nora and other women soon discovered
that it was a man’s world and they were just not allowed to
participate in it. Women of that era though, were allowed to
stay at home and adhere to their tired, overworked spouse’s
needs, not to mention their constant obligation to their
children. Women in those days were only allowed to work
solely at home or to have minor jobs such as maids or
dressmakers. Nora was a free spirit just waiting to be freed;
her husband Torvald would constantly disallow the slightest
pleasures that she aspired to have, such as macaroons. Nora
lived a life of lies in order to hold her marriage together. She
kept herself pleased with little things such as telling Dr. Rank
and Mrs. Linde; “I have such a huge desire to say-to hell
and be damned!” (Isben 59) Just so she could release some
tension that was probably building inside her due to all the
restrictions that Torvald had set up, such as forbidding
macaroons. The need for her to consume these macaroons
behind her controlling husband’s back was a way for her to
satisfy her sense of needing to be an independent woman.
Upon the arrival of her old friend Kristine Linde, Nora took
it upon herself to find her friend a job since she had gone
through a lot in her life. She asked her husband Torvald,
who also happened to be the new manager at the bank if
Kristine could have a job and he responded with an
afirmative response. Mrs. Helmer had also stated that she
had single handedly saved her husband’s life when she took
out a loan for his benefit. However, in those days women
were unable to get a loan without their husband’s consent or
another male’s signature, so Nora took it upon herself to
forge her father’s signature in order to secure the welfare of
Torvald. She saw it as her obligation as a loving wife to
break the law so she would be able to save a life, especially
when it was the life of her husband. Others though saw it as
a criminal offence; Nils Krogstad for example accused Nora
of violating the law to which Nora replied: “This I refuse to
believe. A daughter hasn’t the right to protect her dying
father from anxiety and care? A wife hasn’t the right to save
her husband’s life? I don’t know much about laws but I’m
sure that somewhere in the books these things are allowed.
And you don’t know anything about it-you who practice the
law? You must be an awful lawyer, Mr. Krogstad.” (Isben
67) Nora saw the law as something which, stood in the way
of her responsibility to her family not to mention to herself. If
she were to of told her ill father about her situation
concerning Torvald’s health he could have died due to stress
of hearing this news. If she had spoken to Torvald about his
illness he would have forbidden her from carrying it on
because he wouldn’t want to be in debt to a women, and
more importantly his wife; his pride as a male would have
been crushed. It was her responsibility that she did not
disclose that information to Torvald because of the
repercussions it would bring. At the conclusion of the play
Nora knows that her secret will be revealed and awaits
Torvald’s reaction to it. When she learns that her marriage
was a sham and it was a one sided, playful wedlock she
decided to leave Torvald. Torvlad makes many futile
attempts to