In The Doll's House, do you think that Nora made the right decision to leave her children?

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

Posted on

As a mother, I cannot fathom how Nora could leave her children behind. In theory, I can understand that she feels she is inept at raising children when she is such a child herself.

However, ironically, it takes a great deal of sophisticated reasoning to understand that point in the first place. Obviously Nora's character is speaking here (not a real person). In teaching the play, I have always been able to understand her actions, but in discussion with my kids, I can never support them.

If girls in the Middle Ages were having babies at 13, I expect that a Nora-like character could survive raising children. However, as pampered and spoiled as she has been by her father (who treated her like a doll) and Torvald who did the same, should we be surprised by her over-developed sense of "me-me-me?"

Don't get me wrong: I really dislike Torvald's treatment of Nora, but how much of it is passive acceptance on her part? She comes to her senses at the end, and for the sake of the children, she should contemplate living with Torvald as a brother. In essence, by leaving, doesn't she pass on harm to her children as her own father did...only in a different guise? Children, whenever it is healthy for the children, need their mother.

davidwheeler's profile pic

Posted on

Nora is just a fictional construct. Ibsen made the decision to shock his audience about the lack of freedom that women had at the time the play was written. This discussion must take place in the context of Ibsen's artistic purposes.

kplhardison's profile pic

Posted on

In The Doll's House, do you think what Nora made the best decision--to go out from the doll's life and to leave her children?

In The Doll's House, do you think what Nora made the best decision--to go out from the doll's life and to leave her children?

The ending of The Doll's House marks it as a then modern day tragedy: There is no good ending. And that was part of Ibsen's point.

The Doll's House makes vividly clear that--human rights versus womens's right aside for the moment--women in that era had no legal rights and no rights to personhood outside of the auspice of a male figure, be it husband or father.

The tragedy is that if Nora wanted to continue the independence she had developed for herself in secret while her husband was unaware of her actions (symbolized by the macaroons), then she would have to abandon part of herself--her children. If she wanted to preserve her connection to her chlidren, she would have to abandon a different part of herself--her autonomy of thought, choice and behavior. No choice in the end could have possibly been the right one or the good one--and that is part of Ibsen's message to his society: A tragedy was enveloping all womanhood and all motherhood..and that is the direct connection to the human rights Ibsen expressed concern for: No human being should be tragically bound nor bound in tragedy.

kwoo1213's profile pic

Posted on

This is a very tough question. As a mother, I cannot imagine ever leaving without my children...EVER.  It would kill me.  I cannot imagine, either, living as she did with her horrible husband.  I would've taken the kids and left LOL.

sagetrieb's profile pic

Posted on

Ibsen would agree with Jamie's response.  Everything about the play presents Nora's life with her husband as confining and at times insulting, in spite of the fact he thinks (and probably does) love her.  Ibsen wanted his 19C audience to understand the subtle nature of patriarchy, where what seems to be love and might indeed be love can nevertheless function as a way to silence the "self" in a woman.  As Ibsen saw it, marriage was about power as much as it might be about love, and that imbalances in power will necessarily infect love, distorting it so that it does not nurture and sustain but diminish what is best in us.  Even now society looks harshly at a woman who leaves her children, so you can imagine the response of Ibsen's 19C audience.

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Posted on

I do think Nora made the right decision.  While the loss of her children is a shame, a greater loss would be her loss of identity.  When the children were grown, what would Nora have?  A husband without love or respect?  A life of subserviance and deceit? Given her options, Nora is quite brave to pursue her lonely, but worthy, path, in my opinion. 

cnuzzolo's profile pic

Posted on

     I feel that Nora made a very selfish decision.  Leaving 3 children under any circumstance is difficult, however, her motive for leaving was selfish and self serving.

      She had been living in "The Dolls House" for along time.  It wasn't until her secret was revealed that she all of a sudden had this revelation of liberation.  It was an infantile response to a situation that could have been rectified. 

     Honestly, where will we find Nora in 5 years?  Living in another "Doll's House" being taken care of physically, emotionally and financially.  Her sudden liberation was purely out of humiliation and she managed to damage many innocent people.  How does she ever expect to explain her departure to her children?  I borrowed money to save your father's life, which I wasn't supposed to do and I forged my dying father's name.  I needed to leave to find myself.

      I feel that she never should have had children. Torvald is always being blamed for keeping up appearances, but she had those children for appearance sake only too.  Ibsen never portrayed her as a caring or concerned mother.  They were always off with the nurse.  What was she doing that was so important that she couldn't spend time with her children?  If she truly were a feminist, she would have broken the "nurse cycle" and tended to her offspring! 

MrsClara's profile pic

Posted on

It has been a few month since my husband left home and every time we have the opportunity to talk we always argue. I contacted drlawrencespelltemple@homail.com for a spell to restore my marriage. The following week my husband call me and asked for forgiveness for everything that he had done in the past. This weekend we are going to spend it together with our children to celebrate our anniversary I have faith in Dr Lawrence that He was going to save my marriage. Trust in Him; He has his last word in everything. thanks to drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com !”

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maysa85's profile pic

Posted on

Nora had to leave her family in the spirit of "truth and freedom" so staunchly upheld by Ibsen. Had she not left the household of her husband, embodying the bourgeois ethic with its overwhelming concern for appearances and reputation and sheer drive for opulence, she would have become an another Mrs. Alving. Ultimately, both characters at the end of both plays achieve some form of self-realization, but with Nora, it's yet with less poignancy and degradation. In effect, both plays implied here prove that self-realization is entwined with the spirit of truth and freedom; and the sooner a character achieves some sort of self-realization and acts upon what she/he feels is the most truthful action impervious to the scrutiny of a hypocritical society, the better.   

cabbey's profile pic

Posted on

In my own opinion, I think she was a very selfish character to walk out on her husband and three children.  It would be different if she was only leaving her husband.  She and Torvald were not in love, they were just playing a game with each other- a game of house.  If she had just divorced him and remained a mother to her children, I could have given her respect for that.  As those children's mother, she had a responsibility to take care of them, but she left them with out any hope of return.  It was very, very selfish of her to leave all of her responsibility to "go find herself."  That is what rebelious adolescents do, not grown women.  She would say that she never had that opportunity to "find herself," but I do not think that that should let her of the hook.  Just because she made bad decisions in her past and failed to take opportunities, does not mean she has the right to continue making bad decisions and choices.

 

spiege123's profile pic

Posted on

I believe that Nora made a poor decision by leaving her family because see did not make her children follow a path which was different than hers. Causing them to become just like her, both an insufficent mother and dependant overall person

joymarie's profile pic

Posted on

In The Doll's House, do you think what Nora made the best decision--to go out from the doll's life and to leave her children?

In The Doll's House, do you think what Nora made the best decision--to go out from the doll's life and to leave her children?

I believe she did the right thing . A person will not learn to be  independent if he stays to his comfort zone which is his home. Nora cannot get away from the shadows of her dad and her husband the moment she decides not to leave and stay amerely a doll.

joymarie's profile pic

Posted on

I believe that nora did the right thing, her decision to leave her children was appropriate, she left them in good hands. Her nursemaid is now her childrens nurse maid, and she knows that she will teach them right. Along with that she knows that her children will grow up under a prosperous <sp> roof, they will always be fed and clothed. If they were to go with nora their futures would be hazy because nora doesn't even know where her life will take her.

yeah , nora will not grow as a person if she stays. the only way she could be a better person is to leave like how a child leaves his home in order to become independendent .:) are you a literture major?

gwalker50's profile pic

Posted on

When The Doll House was written, women had no power.  They were playmates for their husbands.  Many women were not even educated since it was not thought to be necessary.  The job of a woman was to take care of her husband, children and home.

The fact that Nora was able to do all of the things that she did was  a statement from Ibsen to society that women were more than they were thought to be.  In order to emphasize his point, Nora left her husband.  At this point in time, it was unheard of, yet Ibsen was making a point.  Women are people with feelings too.  They should not be taken for granted.

tmcdermott's profile pic

Posted on

I believe that nora did the right thing, her decision to leave her children was appropriate, she left them in good hands. Her nursemaid is now her childrens nurse maid, and she knows that she will teach them right. Along with that she knows that her children will grow up under a prosperous <sp> roof, they will always be fed and clothed. If they were to go with nora their futures would be hazy because nora doesn't even know where her life will take her.

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