Homework Help

How does Ibsen show Nora as a loving mother and caring wife who has been misunderstood...

user profile pic

izhaar | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2012 at 2:42 AM via web

dislike 1 like

How does Ibsen show Nora as a loving mother and caring wife who has been misunderstood by her husband?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 12, 2012 at 3:09 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

I think that Ibsen's primary purpose is to show Nora as a caring wife, first, and as a loving mother, second, primarily because this only reflects the social condition in which women like Nora had to endure at the time.  For the time period, women like Nora were seen in a monolithic manner in which the qualities of loving mother and caring wife were collapsed into being this "doll" figure.  Torvald acts in this way.  When he accuses Nora of deceiving him, he immediately lumps together her "unfit" nature as wife and mother together.  He fails to make any distinction between the two because the society at the time did not distinguish between both in its understanding of women.  He fails to understand her true nature as partner and in this, has only thought of himself.  Nora is a caring wife because her existence is one predicated on every breath and moment subsumed with her husband.  Even in deception, she places him first and herself secondary.  The ending in which her realization takes place is only to see her care as something that is not respected by Torvald.  The fact that her hurt and anger does not blight her from taking the children with her is reflective of how she is a loving mother.  Had she not been so, she could have left and not cared for them.  It is in her actions where Ibsen is able to construct Nora as a loving mother and caring wife who has been misunderstood as many women of the time period were misread by their husbands.

Sources:

user profile pic

salimj | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Ibsen brings out the follies of the society prevalent then. A wife is considered a doll in evanescence. A doll supposed to be attractive kept only in the drawing room, a doll is used for the enjoyment of others and no one cares for the doll itself. Nora also expected to be the same because she is a lady in a society in which all this rules are prevalent. Even though she does not follow all the rules of the society she is no doubt a loving mother and a caring mother.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes