Write about the role of Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House describing some social, historical, and cultural features inherent in the play.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Nora Helmer does change throughout the story. In the beginning, she is the perfect wife. She is submissive to her husband, and she dotes on her children. She makes sure her family has everything they need. She buys fine wine to keep her husband believing they are doing well. Of course, she is economical because she saves every penny to repay the loan she borrowed behind her husband's back. She does not spend extra money on her clothes. She is constantly thinking of her family. On occasion, she secretly buys macaroons for herself. However, Torvald does not permit her to eat macaroons, claiming they are bad for her teeth.

When Torvald calls her by pet names that are actually quite offensive, she smiles and plays his game. She does not do anything to interrupt the family life. Although Nora has no idea who she is as a person, she never complains. She keeps up a facade pretending she is happy.

While Torvald is enjoying his little doll, Nora plays along to keep him happy. Then, when Torvald learns the truth, the fact that she has borrowed money without his consent, he becomes furious. Torvald sends her to her room after yelling at her. This is when Nora realizes that she is not happy. Torvald doesn't appreciate her act of love. He ridicules and says no man should give up his reputation, not even for the woman he loves. Nora retaliates, saying millions of women have done it.

Nora cannot go on pretending. She realizes that Trovald does not love her as his wife. she is his prized possession. He idolizes her beauty, but that does not make her feel loved as his wife, as the mother of his children. Nora does not know who she is. She must leave Torvald and find her own identity.

Oh what will the neighbors think? They will be appalled at Nora, but she is desperate for unconditional love; something Torvald is incapable of giving her. So she leaves, probably to never return.

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