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A Doll House

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Relevance to 2011 Audience: Family Conflict

In Henrick Ibsen’s A Doll House, domestic conflict is something that would turn out to be relevant to audiences today in 2011.  Nora apparently has a naïve personality and looks like a person who does not have the faintest of about the things happening outside the world and the significance of life.  She sounds like a happy individual who has never been through hard times and does not seem to know the way of making good choices that suits her. When she begins to know that life must not be in such a manner, she becomes unhappy. The author, Ibsen makes use of Nora’s husband Torvald to criticize the choices that Nora Helmer makes. 

Ibsen has a very intelligent and proper way of making criticism of the choices made by Nora through her husband who insults almost every decision she makes. Nora at some point calls her husband Torvald to come and see the things she has bought (Ibsen I.37-39). Torvald in criticism though in an indirect manner responds calling her “My little spendthrift” and ridiculous enquiring whether she has been spending money yet another time (Ibsen I.41). The family survives somehow.

With all this, Nora does not take this criticism from the husband seriously or in any way negative. Nora instead responds with a lot of affection to Torvald. Torvald again refers to Nora as a “silly girl” in a number of occasions. Torvald calls Nora silly girl based on the choices she comes up with and more especially with the money in the family which she has been very careless in. Nora apparently is excited in the beginning concerning the new job that Torvald has secured and the money which will come to the family thereof.

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However, instead of wisely using the money, she finds room for extra budget on things which were not there initially. After an argument with Torvald for sometime on the way she is messing up with the money they are earning, Nora responds by implying that it could be only a little recklessness and could be much more when the salary is huge (Ibsen I. 46-48). When Torvald says that it could be possible after the New Year, Nora states that they could go on a borrowing mission till then.

Amazingly, Nora does not see the harm she is causing in the family. While Torvald is making an effort to save the money, Nora’s take is looking for something more to spend on it. Apparently, Nora is not a good person, she is also not a bad person but she has got a problem with spending money her entire life. Helmer says that we cannot deny the fact that Nora is a sweet little spendthrift although she spends a huge some of money. Nora takes Torvald comment as a shameful act and states that she saves the much she can (Ibsen I.124).

The best description that can be branded on to Nora is how the husband, Torvald refers her to. She calls her little odd soul taking after her father. She is ever looking some other way of wheedling money from Torvald as he puts it and the moment it lands in her hand, it disappears (Ibsen I. 129-134). Torvald criticizes Nora all the time for taking money from him. All the same, Torvald is a nice man. He hides this perception again by being nice to Nora later on.

Nora makes a wish if she had many of her father’s qualities (Ibsen I.135). The confusion brought up by Torvald is when he on the other hand wishes that Nora would not be anything other than what she currently is. She crowns the statement by calling her sweet little skylark (Ibsen I. 136-137). As the end approaches, Nora is more rebellious towards the actions of Helmer. Helmer gives out remarks on Nora stating that she is indeed pretty and that every person would thing the same at the dance. Torvald muddles the story by saying that she is however a lousy self-willed, this “sweet little person”.

Torvald expresses concern on what to do with Nora because it is unbelievable that Torvald had to bring her away forcibly (Ibsen 3. 186-189). Such comments normally made Nora very much pleased although at some point, she wanted to be left alone and did not want Torvald to comment again on such matters. These events will be very relevant in teaching the audience in 2011 on how to deal with conflict and promote a collaborative atmosphere and harmonious existence in the home.

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