Nora's Transformation Ibsen uses the character of Nora Helmer in A Doll House to portray his society's pressing issues of the time; the duty of a spouse, the perception of social lies, and the connection one has to family. Ibsen chooses to place these subjects in the privacy of his character's home, an institution that has let Nora become a "doll" in her own life, being played with by others. This is clearly not a change in Nora, but a revealing of her true character.
At the play's opening, Nora believes that she is married to an upstanding admirable man, Torvald, whom she worships. This position of wife and mother makes her feel safe in the eyes of the world because she is fulfilling her societal role. Nora believes that her love for Torvald is so deep that she has put him above all else in her life. Nora has romanticized her love of this man so much that he has been placed on a pedestal. She would do anything to keep her husband happy, but she also feels she must protect him.
Nora is convinced she is doing the right thing by sacrificing everything for Torvald's life, even if he would disapprove of her means of doing so. She knows Torvald's feeling about borrowing and that if he would ever find out about Nora's dealings he would be furious. He recites his ethics at the top of the play, "Oh, Nora, Nora, how like a woman! No, but seriously, Nora, you know how I feel about this. No debts! Never borrow! A home that is founded on debts can never be a place of freedom and beauty" (Ibsen, 30). The last things on Nora's mind when she borrowed money were the social and moral impurities she had committed and the...