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

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cnuzzolo's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #4)

     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! 

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

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. 

sagetrieb's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #3)

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.

bookworm-dg's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #5)

I think that Nora's decision had both its good and bad sides. Yeah, it was pretty selfish of her to leave her children, but otherwise she would have always been trapped and would never show the world that you could leave your husband.

But I must say, what good did it do to her children for her to leave them? Would her children grow up to believe that their father's way was right? What would their attitude be towards marriage and the relationships between men and women later on in their life?

Nora had to make a very tough decision. She could have taken her children with her, but this could prevent her in discovering who she really was. Or leave her children.

kwoo1213's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #6)

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.

amy1223's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #7)

I believe that Nora made a completely selfish decision to leave Helmer and her children in search of her "identity."  She robs her children of a mother, and her husband of a wife.  Also, the children, who have less power than she, are the victims of her rampage for power.  They have no control of their situation and will grow up in the same society she did and just continue the cycle.  Though, had she not abandoned them, she could have bettered her situation and taught them not to give in to the same fake society as she had.  That would have been more responsible.

amy1223's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #8)

Nora's decision was also ignorant.  She left in search of her "identity" and to make something of her name.  Leaving and going somewhere else does not make her strong and will not give her individualism.  One who is strong preserves their identity and shows their true colors in even the most trying of circumstances.  For Nora to show true strength and individuality, she must show who she really is and stick to that, rather than being stubborn and acting like a child and trying to run away from her problems.

ranr's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #9)

Nora's last decision is selfish. Not only did she leave for something that she could have done while staying, she left three children without a chance to grow up with her mother. When I read the first scene with her children I thought that she was a really good mother. What little kid does not love playing with their mother and having their attention? In her decision she did not think for a second the consequences this will bring to her children. Personally I lived away from my mom for two consecutive years. Those years I never thought about her personality I just thought how awesome it would be to have her around. Nora's children will not care if she has things she believes in, they will just want to be with her and enjoy their time with her. Someone said that it was the right decision because if she would have stayed what would her life been after her kids were older? My answer is that by that time she would have a better idea of who she is and could leave her "doll house" and even start a totally different life. My question is, "How can a mother not regret enjoying their children while they can?" After, and if, she finds herself she will have absolutely nothing. Her children will probably also hate her for thinking about herself before them. Nora will regret not being there with them and there will be nothing she can do to repair the damage she caused them. In sum, while trying to leave her "doll house", she changed her children's future.

twilson1739's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #10)

I do not believe Nora made the right decisions. What she did was rash and irresponsible. Nora was running away from her problems and leaving her children with the man that she was trying to get away from. Why would someone put their kids in a situation that they themselves were escaping? She could have taken her children with her but there was no reason for her to walk out on them as her mother did to her.  This is probably where the motivation came from, but that does not make it right. You would think that the abandonment Nora felt when her mother left would cause Nora to never want her children to feel that same way.

elizabethhardin's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #11)

I think Nora made the right decision in separating from Torvald but not from her children.  The previous was a need, the following was irresponsible and cold.  I understand that she simply could not live with this man anymore, but she should not have left so abruptly with not even a goodbye to her children.  However, knowing Nora and her character, it isn't really her to think about how others feel.  By her abandoning them, they will face endless consequences of loss and separation.

nikota's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #12)

No, the best decision would have been for her to take responsibility for her actions, accept her faults, and then ultimately enact the change herself. If she really needs to find herself, she needs a way to do that while being held accountable for her children. As mentioned before, she completely abandons her kids and in any time period that's not right.

lopezlopez261's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #13)


I think that Nora made the right decision to leave Torvald, but made a mistake by living his children. Like people say, there’s no better teacher than the mother. By living them she renounces the chance to have the right to be a mother. Although she had a point that saying that she was not ready to be a mom because she was still a child, she still didn’t take the right approach to her decision.


sixdabomb's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #14)

Although Nora said she no longer loved Torvald, I didn't get the impression that she tried very hard to save the marriage. It must have been a pretty sudden shock for Torvald when Nora told him she was leaving and didn't love him anymore. Why didn't she at least try to rekindle the love between herself and Torvald? There must have been something she could have done instead of hastily deciding to just leave and attempt to start over. She could have started over without leaving - maybe she and Torvald could have stayed in separate rooms/corners of the house. Nora leaving was unfair to the children as well - they did nothing wrong, yet they are being punished. It is admirable that Nora asserted her independence, but I believe she went about it in the wrong way.

fallynn's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #15)

I think that Nora's abrupt abandonment of her marriage is not as surprising as it may seem. In the beginning Nora tells of how she borrowed money for Torvald's well-being, on the surface this is seen as an act of kindness, however, for Nora to borrow money when she knows it is the one thing that her husband despises and to borrow the money from a man like Krogstad is taking a HUGE chance on her marriage. I cant help but think that anyone who loved their husband would find other less confrontational ways of finding money, and anyone who was worried about the destruction of their marriage would not be able to go through with taking such a risk.

We know from the beginning that Nora does not love Torvald she loves the money and herself and I think that is why she leaves. She knows that in order to raise her children and be a good mature wife and woman she needs to leave and learn how to fix herself.

The only thing that I see wrong with Nora leaving is that in a way she is leaving her children to be poisoned by society the same way she and everyone else was. If she was being a good mother she would take them with her and teach them what she realized and how not to end up in the same predicament.

kplhardison's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #16)

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.

sawyer6938's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #17)

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?

Nora did make the right decision by leaving her family behind. Nora needed to find out who she truly wanted to be. The only way Nora would be able to discover herself and her potential was by starting over. Torvald did not understand how Nora felt and it would have been a struggle for him to see Nora change becasue he had control over her for many years.

joy14's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #18)

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?

Nora indeed made the right decision.  She facilitated her children who will now be without her negative influence.  Additionally, Torvald is now able realize his negative actions towards Nora and corect his character, as a result.  Finally, Nora benefits herself immensely, for she frees herself from oppression and is now capable of learning on her own.   She will be responsible and independent learning about religion, politics, and business. 

victoriabravo's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #19)

I agree that Nora made the correct decision in leaving Torvald and the children. However the manner in which she did so, was a bit rash. She could have at least said good-bye to her children. But overall her decision to leave was the right one. If Nora was to have stayed, she would have fallen into the same oppressed state that she was in before. Also she would have resented Torvald and the children. Staying in a loveless marriage for the children never ends well.

jeangain's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #20)

I think she absolutely makes the right decision to leave.  Under Torvald's control, Nora was restricted from finding finding herself.  Her children may seem like the victims in this situation; however, Nora is not a mother to them, but instead a playmate.  Nora's decision to leave Torvald and her children can be seen as a respectable decision, for Nora could not withstand the role of a mother without first identifying who she is.  The children would not be better off with a mother and father living in a dishonest marriage; therefore, Nora was right to have left. 

ree0028's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #21)

I don't believe that Nora made the right decision in the way she left her family. She neglected her children and then got up and left without even telling them. She did this all for herself, without thinking about the consequences her children would endure. The exact same consequences she had when she was a young child without a mother figure apparent in her life.

sydie's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #22)

I think Nora's decision to leave was very selfish and immature. She has let men treat her as a possesion her whole live, and has never tried to stick up for herself. Nora could have tried another way to get through to her husband and express that she is a human being and deserves to be treated like one. Instead she takes the easy way out and abondonds all of her problems, leaving her family to deal with them. She has left for an easier life while her family must learn to deal with the loss of a loved one. Nora shouldnt have left her family in the way she did.

graceauther9's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #23)

Yes, I believe Nora made the right decision. Although it may be hard for her family to deal with her leaving at this time, they will not be leaving in a world of lies anymore. Her children should always know that their mother realized she was not happy in the life that she was living and that she had to be honest with herself. This will teach her kids a lifelong lesson to know who they are.

bananamenagerie's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #24)

I agree with this completely. Nora only thinks in one way, about her self. She leaves to find love and happiness for her self. She leaves her husband and children behind, aware of the twisted world she left them behind in. Although Nora finally obtains the realization that her marriage is in shambles, she walks out instead of attempting to work on it. She leaves because it is the easy way out. "What is right is not always easy." -Dumbledore

klefty's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #25)

Did Nora make the BEST decision? Of course not. She simply did not take into account what she was leaving behind and the effect it would have on those who she left. I think she thought in a very immature sense, only desiring to prove Torvald wrong and to show him who's boss. I feel almost as if Nora wanted to show a sense of importance in her role of the family, because she felt useless, a "spendthrift" as Torvald called her. She had many other plausible options that she must not have considered, leading her to re-act in the most irresponsible sense.

acullum's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #26)

I believe Nora made the best decision in going out on her own in the end. Though it was a tough one, it was quite crucial. It is hard to say that anyone who leaves their children is correct in doing so though in this case it is the truth. Nora truly believed that in leaving her children, she was benefitting them since they would be put in better hands than if she stayed with them.  Also, Nora needed to do this to break all connections from Torvald, including leaving her children in order to become her own woman.

durquijo's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #27)

Although it was not the best decision Nora could have made it was the right one. If she would have stayed Torvald would have made sure to keep a closer eye on her limiting the very little freedom she has even more. The relationship would then be based all on lies. By leaving Nora sets an example to her children that they do not need to let their lives be controlled by others, that they have a voice and must use it in order to be heard.

lechuga3312's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #28)

I do believe that Nora's leaving was the best because she needed to become a person and not remain someone else's doll. Though she was rash and may not have thought it all completely through, Nora left to become a better person and I believe that one day she will return to the house or at least to her children and show to them that they can become all that they want to. Nora was never allowed to think for herself, she was always given a thought by her father and then by Torvald. Her shadow (according to the Jungian Theory) was an individual, a woman, like Kristine, that could stand on her own two feet and still breathe in fresh air. Her leaving was the only way that Nora would be able to accomplish that. Because of Torvald's controlling ways, Nora never would have been able to find the freedom to think in the doll's house.

hayley-deforest's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #29)

I don't think Nora made a GOOD decision, but i think she made the only one she could at the time. She has no right to be a mother if she doesn't know herself. I also think she truly believed her children would be better off with Torvald and the maid. And they probably will be. Obviously her staying was not working and she needed a drastic change. She never said anything about never wanting to see the children. It would have been even more selfish of her to try to take the children from their only chance at a stable life.

jsgrjl's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #30)

Nora made the BEST decision in leaving her family. Contrary to many of the previous postings, Nora DID NOT abandon her children. She did not leave them in the corner of the street and asked them to fend for themselves. She left them with Torvold who is financially stable and capable of raising his own children. As Nora states at the end of the play, "I can't sleep in a strangers house". Ivar, Bob, and Emmy may be Nora's flesh and blood, but in psychological and mental sense, they are not LEGITIMATELY her children. Their children that were conceived under Nora's unconscious Shadow; thus, Nora the adult had no say in the conception of these children.

nvaniwaarden's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #31)

Nora's decision to leave does not completely matter because, the mirror stage of lacanian theory proves the absence of Nora's mother is her downfall. Because Nora grows up without a competition parent, she remains in a never-ending state of childhood. Consequently, she cannot be a true parent for her own children; thus, creating a never-ending circle of 'sins of ones father,' or in this case, mother. Either way, Nora cannot and will not grow up even if she leaves Torvald.

luthi's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #32)

I do not think Nora made the best decision when she abandoned her family.  She was only thinking selfishly.  Nora is leaving her children to grow up without a mother.  In the time of this play, that was a huge social stigma.  Nora is effectively dooming her children to repeat her mistakes.  She grew up without a mother; now she is leaving her children to do the same. 

tmcdermott's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #33)

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.

gwalker50's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #34)

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.

joymarie's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #35)

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?

joymarie's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #36)

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.

spiege123's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #37)

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

cabbey's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #38)

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.


davidwheeler's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #39)

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.

maysa85's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #40)

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.   

booboosmoosh's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #42)

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.

MrsClara's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #44)

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 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 !”

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vikas1802's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #41)

ya offcoures she took this decision in very grave manner,i think his decision was right.

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