In Ibsen's play A Doll's House, how does Nora explain her decision to leave? What evidence convinces her that such an action is necessary?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, Nora decides to leave her husband when she suddenly sees her husband as truly selfish, narrow minded, and unloving.  Before Torvald reads the letter from Krogstad revealing how Nora forged the signature on a loan, Torvald takes Nora in his arms and tells her that he has often wished that she “might be threatened by some great danger, so that I might risk my life’s blood, everything, for your sake” [Act II].  For this reason, Nora believes that Torvald will want to save her from what she has done, knowing that she did it out of love for him.  Instead, Torvald is furious and thinks only about the damage that Nora has done to his own reputation.  Torvald doesn’t even think that her fraudulent act was done out of love for him.  Hence, Nora begins to see her husband as a selfish man who doesn’t truly lover her, but only “enjoyed being in love with me” [Act II].  She sees now that she never really new Torvald, and cannot stay with a man who is a stranger to her.


Nora also sees that just as she adapted her father’s opinions as her own, she also adapted her husband’s opinions as her own.  She also decides to leave him because she must educate herself in who she really is.

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A Doll's House

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