What's wrong with the marriage of Nora and Torvald in A Doll's House?

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

Posted on

It seems like there is little right in their marriage.  From the most fundamental of standpoints, their marriage is in trouble because there is not an open and honest validation of voice and exchange of opinions.  Torvald is convinced of his own voice as being the sole voice of perfection.  This contributes to his stifling manner of Nora.  For her part, Nora believes that Torvald's "rules" and manner is appropriate, and she plays along with it.  The fact that she lies and has to sneak about demonstrates that she really believes that Torvald's point of view regarding their marriage is the right one.  In this, one sees how their marriage is a frail and weak one.  The surface might reflect something different, but the core of it is a weakened one.  When Nora comes to the realization that the marriage is one that is stifling her own voice, she recognizes this and leaves, as opposed to opening a constructive and transformative dialogue with Torvald.  It is in this where one sees how their marriage truly is fraught with problems and challenges, as opposed to promises and possibilities.

lsumner's profile pic

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

Posted on

Nora and Torvald have a shallow marriage.  It is based on possessive love.  Torvald believes Nora is his prize possession. He does not deem her his equal.  She is his play toy.  He believes he is intellectually superior to Nora.  He does not have a clue about what she really knows.  He is programmed by society which keeps the humble little woman at a man's feet, not by his side.

Nora plays along with Torvald and pretends to be just as shallow as he is.  She takes on the part he has given her.  She is his little squirrel or little songbird.  Nora is an intellectual who has to keep her knowledge undercover.  She truly loves Torvald enough to sacrfice her reputation by secretly borrowing money for his health issues.  In return, he shouts at her and sends her to her room. She is his child, not his equal.  Torvald worries about appearances.  He is all about keeping up with the Jones.  He worries about his reputation and will not sacrifice, not even for the woman he loves.

Nora on the other hand is willing to do whatever she must do for the man she loves.  If only Torvald had appreciated her true love, perhaps they would still be together.  Nora has no choice. She must leave Torvald to find out more about herself.

Torvald had it all.  He had a woman who truly loved him enough to sacrifice her own feelings in order to make him happy. That is why she played his silly games.  It is too bad that Torvald was blinded by his own ambition.  Will Nora return to him is the question with which he is left wondering? I would guess that he has lost her forever.

 

lsumner's profile pic

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

Posted on

Nora and Torvald have a shallow marriage.  It is based on possessive love.  Torvald believes Nora is his prize possession. He does not deem her his equal.  She is his play toy.  He believes he is intellectually superior to Nora.  He does not have a clue about what she really knows.  He is programmed by society which keeps the humble little women at a man's feet, not by his side.

Nora plays along with Torvald and pretends to be just as shallow as he is.  She takes on the part he has given her.  She is his little squirrel or little songbird.  Nora is an intellectual who has to keep her knowledge undercover.  She truly loves Torvald enough to sacrfice her reputation by secretly borrowing money for his health issues.  In return, he shouts at her and sends her to her room. She is his child, not his equal.  Torvald worries about appearances.  He is all about keeping up with the Jones.  He worries about his reputation and will not sacrifice, not even for the woman he loves.

Nora on the other hand is willing to do whatever she must do for the man she loves.  If only Torvald had appreciated her true love, perhaps they would still be together.  Nora has no choice. She must leave Torvald to find out more about herself.

Torvald had it all.  He had a woman who truly loved him enough to sacrifice her own feelings in order to make him happy. That is why she played his silly games.  It is too bad that Torvald was blinded by his own ambition.  Will Nora return to him is the question with which he is left wondering? I would guess that he has lost her forever.

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