A Doll’s House The events begin to succeed each other more and more rapidly and the circle begins to spin around her. We find that, for saving her husbands life, Nora has committed forgery and Krogstad is ready to use this information in order achieve his goals : ()if I produce this document in court, youll be condemned.(791) This element gives us a hint of women condition in a deeply- rooted man thought society . In addition, Dr. Rank, who had a lethal disease, confesses his love for her : You know now that Im at your service, body and soul.(802) All these events make the circle tighten and spin faster around Nora, who can hardly resist to this pressure and seeks the relief in wildly dancing the tarantella, a dance wich she transforms into a life and death one. This dance can also be viewed as an one of the key element that permits us to say that shes passing from a state of passive victim to a n early state of active agent : Nora dances more and more widly. Helmer stands by the stove giving her repeated directions as she dances ; she does not seem to hear them. .(808) All the other charactersreactions, words and attitudes form the chain wich unbearably surrounds Nora and wich she will finally break, liberating herself from the lie she has been living in for many years-she firmly tells Helmer her decision : I cant stay here with you any longer (..).
Im leaving here at once.(821) In addition to this intimate inter-independence between Nora and the other four important characters (viewed as a whole), is the complexity of Helmers wife as a dramatic personage.Compared to the others, Nora is the most round character, one who we see evolving, in contrast with Helmer or Dr. Rank. More precisely, we discover two forms of evolution of this personage : 1.an external one, produced in the readers mind, as he discovers the purpose of her always asking money to the husband and having a toy attitude with him ; 2. and the second evolution, more profound, wich implies the inner transformation of the character, tired of representing someones toy and desiring independence. The beginning of the play presents us a squirrel-like(775)woman, always wanting to please her husband in order to get money from him. She voluntarily accepts Helmer comparing her with a little animal and even seems to identify with this image : Ah, if you only knew how many expenses the likes us sky-larks and squirrels have, Torvald(777).
Nora appears completely submitted to her husband, ready to accept whatever he would say or do : I would never dream of doing anything you didnt want me to.(777) in order to satisfy her ( apparent) only preoccupation : You could always give me money, Torvald. (776) The fog and confusion wich surrounded her and her attitude begin gradually to disappear as we find out that she had borrowed money to save Helmers life and she saves almost every penny her husband gives her in order topay the debt off. This stage of Noras external evolution enables us to see a woman who deeply loves her husband, but who is not strong enough to fight against his prejudices : Torvald is a man with a great deal of pride- it would be terribly embarrassing and humiliating for him if he thought he owed anything to me.(782) Moreover, she prefers fancying about a rich man who would give her the money she needs( a psychological escape from the constraints she lives in) than facing her husband. The two evolutions begin to coincide from the moment when Krogstad threatens Nora with telling Helmer that she has committed forgery. We feel that something begins to change when contradictory feelings invade her- love for the children, for the husband, and the desire to commit suicide : () never see the children again()Oh, that black icy water.Oh, that bottomless !(817) On the other hand, she would do almost anything in order to regain her old lifestyle(that of a dollwho passed from the fathers hands into that of the husbands).
The transformation seems to end with the firm decision to throw herself into the water after Helmer would have found out the hidden truth : Now you must read your letters, Torvald.(816) But it willnot come to an end until Nora really discovers her husband : Miserable woman what is this you have done ?()Do you understand what you have done ?(817) contrasting with his reaction after finding that Krogstad has sent them back the IOU : Helmer :I am saved ! Nora, I am saved ! Nora : And me ? Helmer : You too, of course .(818) From this moment, we assist to an incredible change from the submitted wife to the firm, decided Nora, who has the courage to leave her husband and children in quest of independence. Having dealt with the analyze of Nora and Mrs Lindes attitudes and their relations with the other personages, we now turn to the authors relationwith his main characters :women. Being a drama, A Dolls House has only the diialogues and the characters actions to reveal their emotions to the reader. Therefore Ibsen places Nora for the most part of the play in the center of the action ( she appears in all scenes except for the discussion between Krogstad and Mrs Linde) and eliminates any dialogue or event that would not have conributed to her evolution from passive vistim to active agent of her life, and would not have been an argument for his thesis. We have the conviction that Nora not only represents a forrm of protest against womens very limited rights in the 19th Century : Helmer : But nobody sacrifies his honor for the one she loves Nora : Hundreds and thousands of women have.(823), but also becomes an instrument in Ibsens hands, an instrument for pleading in favor of personal freedom and individuals liberty to choose their destiny in becoming a social responsible agent. The materialization of this idea, in terms of liberation of the main character ( women), comes naturally after we have discovered the constraints surrounding Nora, especially coming from her husband I wouldnt find a woman doubly attractive for being so obviously helpless.() Its as though it made her his property in a double sense : he has, as it were, given her a new life, and she becomes in a way both his wife and at tha same time his child.(823) For having demonstrated that Women in Ibsens A Dolls House were very consistent and complex characters of the play and that they become the weapon that Ibsen uses for expressing his convictions, I clearly hope having achieved the goal of this paper.That is to point out that Nora and Mrs Linde both experienced an evolution from passive victims in a life devoid of any rights for them to active agents in a life somewhat difficult for the adversities that a woman, who wants to claim her rights to live her life as she think best, has to face .
Ibsens A Dolls House is in some extent an hymn for sexual equality that Society should one day achieve. Bibliography : Ibsen, Henrik. A Dolls House. Literature for Composition.Ed. Sylvan Barnet 5th ed. New York : Longman, 2000.774-824.