How Nora was a victim and victimizer in A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

Essay by fuzzellCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 4.4

Downloaded 182 times

It is easy to forget how far our society has come in the last hundred years in recognizing the equality of all people. Often when we take a look into the past what we see is very shocking. Such is the case in a Doll House by Henrik Ibsen. Here we see Nora presented as a victim of her father and male dominated society; however she also plays the role of victimizer against her husband, family, and friends. As Nora takes both sides of the conflict we see how she is forced into both roles.

Nora plays with Dr. Rank's emotions; though by accident, she does so more than she had intended. Nora becomes desperate for money at one point and intends to use her sex appeal and subtle charm to get some from Dr. Rank. Nora is in the process of flirting with the doctor when he confesses that his love to her when he tells her his "body and soul are at [her] command" (Ibsen 358).

Seeing that her flirtation would be taken much more seriously than she anticipated she does decide not to pursue the matter further.

Nora plays victimizer to her husband and children as well. The least obvious is her children. As we read the play the general feeling is love and devotion for her offspring. Nora makes sure they are well dressed and plays with them often. In this abundance of love we also see the problem. Nora is preparing her children to become the same doll she was raised to become. We see this when she mentions the things she bought them for Christmas at the beginning of the story. "Here a horse and trumpet for Bob. And a doll and a doll's bed here for Emmy;" (Ibsen 333). She has purchased...