Escape From A Dollhouse




Escape From A Doll House
We have all felt the need to be alone or to venture to places that our minds have only imagined. However, we as individuals have always found ourselves clutching to our responsibilities and obligations, to either our jobs or our friends and family. The lingering feeling of leaving something behind or of promises that have been unfulfilled is a pain that keeps us from escaping. People worldwide have yearned for a need to leave a situation or seek spiritual fulfillment elsewhere. The need for one’s freedom and their responsibility to others can make or break a person. Henrik Isben’s inspirational characters of Nora Helmer, Kristine Linde, and Nils Krogstad have all had to suffer for their right to be individuals and to be accountable for their actions.
A woman of the tough Victorian period, Nora Helmer was both a prisoner of her time as well as a pioneer. In her society women were viewed as an inferior species and were not even considered real human beings in the eyes of the law. Nora and other women soon discovered that it was a man’s world and they were just not allowed to participate in it. Women of that era though, were allowed to stay at home and adhere to their tired, overworked spouse’s needs, not to mention their constant obligation to their children. Women in those days were only allowed to work solely at home or to have minor jobs such as maids or dressmakers.
Nora was a free spirit just waiting to be freed; her husband Torvald would constantly disallow the slightest pleasures that she aspired to have, such as macaroons. Nora lived a life of lies in order to hold her marriage together. She kept herself pleased with little things such as telling Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde; “I have such a huge desire to say-to hell and be damned!” (Isben 59) Just so she could release some tension that was probably building inside her due to all the restrictions that Torvald had set up, such as forbidding macaroons. The need for her to consume these macaroons behind her controlling husband’s back was a way for her to satisfy her sense of needing to be an independent woman. Upon the arrival of her old friend Kristine Linde, Nora took it upon herself to find her friend a job since she had gone through a lot in her life. She asked her husband Torvald, who also happened to be the new manager at the bank if Kristine could have a job and he responded with an afirmative response.
Mrs. Helmer had also stated that she had single handedly saved her husband’s life when she took out a loan for his benefit. However, in those days women were unable to get a loan without their husband’s consent or another male’s signature, so Nora took it upon herself to forge her father’s signature in order to secure the welfare of Torvald. She saw it as her obligation as a loving wife to break the law so she would be able to save a life, especially when it was the life of her husband. Others though saw it as a criminal offence; Nils Krogstad for example accused Nora of violating the law to which Nora replied:
“This I refuse to believe. A daughter hasn’t the right to protect her dying father from anxiety and care? A wife hasn’t the right to save her husband’s life? I don’t know much about laws but I’m sure that somewhere in the books these things are allowed. And you don’t know anything about it-you who practice the law? You must be an awful lawyer, Mr. Krogstad.” (Isben 67)
Nora saw the law as something which, stood in the way of her responsibility to her family not to mention to herself. If she were to of told her ill father about her situation concerning Torvald’s health he could have died due to stress of hearing this news. If she had spoken to Torvald about his illness he would have forbidden her from carrying it on because he wouldn’t want to be in debt to a women, and more importantly his wife; his pride as a male would have been crushed. It