Nowadays, men and women have equal social status and everyone enjoys the same rights, but in the past, men still dominate society. To solve this problem, Henrik Ibsen used a short family story to illustrate the social problems that reflected the important issues of family, marriage, democracy and human rights in Norwegian society and focused on the spirit and soul of people. Set on a warm and delicate cabin, the play begins with the conversation between Helmer and Nora, and then Mrs. Linde comes to their home to find Nora. She hopes that Nora can help her to find a new job, but Nora’s husband gets a promotion, that means Krogstad will lose his job.
Henrik Ibsen embodies the theme of the story by making the plot develop, the change of Nora’s attitude towards her husband is the focus of the whole play, which shows the theme of women’s courage to pursue their own rights, and also shows women’s rights to be equal, freedom and break the shackles of traditional feudal concepts. Nora is a symbol of kindness, smart, and brave, but nobody is perfect. In the beginning, Nora is beautiful, kind, passionate, self-sacrificing and compassionate. She always thinking of her husband, and in front of her husband, she is a perfect wife and even becomes his doll. When Nora gives the carter tip, that shows she is compassionate. “There is a shilling. No, keep the change” (Ibsen 1).
Also, she promises that she will help Mrs. Linde to find a new job because Mrs. Linde is her high school classmate and old friend whom she trusts. “He Wu 2 must, Christine. Just leave it to me; I will broach the subject very cleverly–I will think of something that will please him very much. It will make me so happy to be of some use to you” (Ibsen 11). Nora has been alone with a huge debt because her husband Torvald had a serious illness in the past, she borrowed a sum of money to treat him. In the society at the time, it was masculinity. Women did not have social status. Nora wanted a man to sign it if he wanted to get money. Her father has passed away, she had been tight-lipped about the money, and she only told this secret to Mrs. Linde. “There is no need you should. I never said I had borrowed the money. I may have got it some other way. Perhaps I got it from some other admirer. When anyone is as attractive as I am” (Ibsen 13).
Because Nora has these personal experiences, meets difficulties, also knows all sadness and helplessness, so when she knows her good friend is helpless, she is willing to help immediately. However, no one is perfect in this world, Nora also feels afraid and helpless, but she struggles to find a way to avoid Torvald opening her mailbox that showing her wisdom. She is freaked out after Krogstad is fired and sends a letter to Torvald, fearing her secret will be discovered by her husband. She is worried about Torvald’s fate, not about herself, because then her husband will be blackmailed by Krogstad. At the same time, she wants to persuade Krogstad to withdraw his letter and asks Mrs. Linde for help, “How should I know? Yes, here is his card. But the letter, the letter” (Ibsen 47).
When Torvald wants to open the mailbox, she is really afraid that, “I can’t dance tomorrow if I don’t practice with you” (Ibsen 49). This shows how smart she is! Because she makes up a reason to distract Torvald’s attention so that her husband won’t open the mailbox! Wu 3 In the end chapter, the climax of the whole article shows Nora’s transformation at the end: Strive for freedom! She showed how her upright and determine are! At last, she fails to prevent Torvald from opening the mailbox. Mrs. Linde is believing that she should share the secret with Torvald, Mrs. Linde prevents Krogstad from retrieving the letter. The crisis breaks out when they come back from the party and see the letter. He calls Nora a hypocrite, a liar, and a criminal; She is accused of having no religious beliefs, moral values or sense of responsibility. He declares that she is unfit to raise her children.
However, Torvald’s attitude takes a big turn when he receives another letter from Krogstad because Krogstad is not prepared to take any action against them. Torvald then seems like a clown, boasting that he has been saved, Nora sees through her husband for the first time in her life: he is a sanctimonious, selfish hypocrite! He doesn’t take Nora’s situation at all to heart. “Torvald. But you would have it so. You and papa have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life” (Ibsen 67).
Nora realizes that she had been and still seems to be someone else’s doll. She no longer wants to be controlled by others, and she wants to seek her own freedom. This undoubtedly shows her wisdom and courage, as well as extraordinary courage! She finally left the family, from the beginning of the despair of love to the final awakening of her life, Nora experienced a painful process. But in the end, her departure marked her awakening. Nara is an extraordinary woman who is wise, kind, brave and responsible. She dares to take responsibility when the family is facing setbacks and dares to do her best to defend her family. Such behavior is in great contrast to her husband’s attitude when he is in trouble.
Let the reader can not help but admire this woman’s strong and kind. I found this woman is not only a housewife who only knows how to eat cookies and take care of children but a woman who has Wu 4 the courage and wisdom to face difficulties. ‘A Doll’s House’ comprehensively exposes the ugliness and hypocrisy of the bourgeois society and criticizes the oppression, unfreedom, and inequality of the bourgeois society. However, Nora seems to illuminate the night like A torch in this play. With the development of the plot, the torch becomes brighter and brighter.