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Can you help me write about "the most wonderful thing" in Act III as a reflection of...

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holla-at-me | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 31, 2011 at 11:22 AM via web

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Can you help me write about "the most wonderful thing" in Act III as a reflection of both Nora and Torvald's characters and personalities?

Helmer: Nora--can I never be anything more than a stranger to you?

Nora (taking her bag): Ah, Torvald, the most wonderful thing of all would have to happen.

Helmer: Tell me what that would be!

Nora: Both you and I would have to be so changed that--
.......
Nora: That our life together would be a real wedlock. Goodbye.

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Helmer: Nora--can I never be anything more than a stranger to you?
Nora (taking her bag): Ah, Torvald, the most wonderful thing of all would have to happen.
Helmer: Tell me what that would be!
Nora: Both you and I would have to be so changed that--
.......
Nora: That our life together would be a real wedlock. Goodbye
(Act III).

Act III of Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House does a lot to unfold the true natures and personalities of Ibsen's characters, Nora and Torvald. Not only that, Ibsen indicates that his characters' personalities need drastic changes. In Act III, when Nora tells Torvald that "the most wonderful thing of all would have to happen" in order for her to stay, she is referring to these needed changes in their personalities and character traits. She further indicates that these changes are such complete alterations that their "life together would be a real wedlock."

On Nora's side, the personality change that would be required is that, as Nora states, she would need to educate herself. Nora feels that she is naive about the nature of the world. She is also naive about her own point of views, because neither her husband, nor her father ever asked her for her point of view, they only expected her to agree with theirs. Until Nora educates herself and begins using her mind as an adult, she is not fit to be in a marriage of equal partnership, nor is she fit to raise her children.

Another character trait of Nora's is that she feels she was naive about her husband's character. Nora thought that her husband was loving, understanding, and ready to die for her sake. Instead she learns that her husband is narrow minded and judgmental. Until Nora is ready to embrace reality and see people for what they really are, she is not ready to be in a real marriage, she is only ready to be in a play marriage.

On Torvald's side, the personality change that must take place is that Torvald must learn to become selfless. When Torvald learns about Nora's forgery, his reaction is to think only about himself and what her forgery would do to his reputation. He did not stop to think about Nora's motive for the forgery, as Nora thought he would. Until Torvald learns to be selfless, he cannot be in a real wedlock, a wedlock of equal partnership.

Another personality, or character change for Torvald that must take place is that he must learn to think of Nora as an adult. Torvald thinks of her, and treats her, like a child, as evidenced by his treatment of her in the first scene when he asks her about the macaroons. He must also cease treating her like a child by beginning to respect her mind. He must begin to see her as a reasoning, rational adult and discuss serious matters with her. As Nora asserts, only two adults can be in a true marriage, a marriage of equal partnership.

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