A Doll's House Questions and Answers
by Henrik Ibsen

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In A Doll's House, describe the relationship between Torvald and Nora.

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Initially, all seems well in the Helmer household. Nora and Torvald's marriage appears to be a conventional one, entirely consistent with prevailing middle-class standards of respectability. Torvald is the undisputed head of the house, the paterfamilias and sole breadwinner whose overriding purpose in life is to protect and provide for his family.

Nora's role within the marriage is also highly conventional. At first, she's a rather meek, submissive figure. Torvald seems to love her, but also treats her like a child, calling her things like "scatterbrain" and "my little squirrel." Torvald also doesn't think much of Nora's intellectual capabilities, bestowing patronizing and demeaning pet names upon her such as "feather-brain" and "my lost squirrel." Whatever else it might be, this is not a relationship of equals, but then nor is it intended to be. Torvald rules the roost and that's precisely what society expects of him.

As their relationship is largely conventional, with no real depth to it,...

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durquijo | Student

The relationship between Nora and Torvald is one similar to a parent and a child. Torvald controls every aspect of Nora's life, just like a parent does.