A doll's House: Nora

Essay by sgdragonslayerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2004

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A Doll's House: Nora

Nora Helmer, portrayed in the beginning of the play as a bit of a bubblehead, goes through many changes and develops more than any other character. Throughout the play, she transforms from a pampered doll, dependent on her husband, to an independent woman, driven to strike out on her own.

During the beginning of the play, Nora feels like a doll, always dressing up and performing for her husband. Slowly, Nora's character is forced to discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality. As a mother and a wife, Nora Helmer has duties and responsibilities to her family. She progressively confronts the realties of the real world, but still clings to the hope that her husband will protect and defend her from the outside world. She cannot be who she wants to be, because society and her husband will not allow her enough freedom to choose her own path.

At the end of the play, Nora's secret is exposed. When she realizes that Torvald's only thought is of his own reputation, she finds the strength to leave. At a time in history when it was unthinkable that a woman could leave her husband to obtain freedom, Nora begins a very hard and difficult search for her self worth. In the end, Nora slams the door on more than just her husband and children. She slams the door on the role society has placed on her, to discover a new role of her own choosing.