The play A Doll House is based on the protagonist name Nora who was a woman and showing her characteristics according to her societal norms. This play is based on three main acts and written by Henrik Ibsen. The play was premiered in late 19th century in Denmark, Europe. The play was published in that time when the most world societies were man dominated. The writer showed the position and responsibilities of Nora, a married lady who want to survive well in her main dominated society.
The play not only represents the character of Nora but it also focused on the relationships of a married couple of the late 19th century. The play showed the characteristics, actions, thinking, values and norms of late 19th century marriages. The main character Nora always tried to help his husband Torvald and do everything that she needs to do to make him happy, but Torvald reveals to Nora that he is a traditional person having traditional norms neglecting the love factor from his life.
Nora is a charming, naughty and beautiful person and she is in love with her husband, Torvald. She is living a faithful life with him considering him her everything. She spends her married years with her complete devotion and love with Torvald except for a secret which she always hides from her husband.
After marriage, Torvald got sick badly, and his life was in danger. Nora does not have such amount of money to save his husband’s life. So, she decides to lend money from a person who is a friend of Torvald. His name is Krogstad, and he lent money to Nora. Later on, Nora moved to Italy for the treatment of his husband and successfully saved his husband’s life. The married couple returned happily and started their life together.
Nora saved money to return to Krogstad and started giving him his money in small installments. Moreover, Torvald gets promoted and became the bank manager. Nora is so happy by his promotion and tells his friend Mrs. Linde about his husband’s promotion. Mrs. Linde congratulated her and asked her to give her a job so that she could be able to earn for a better lifestyle because she is a widow. Nora promised her to ask about the job to her husband.
Then suddenly Krogstad came and told Nora that her husband is going to fire him and she should stop that, if she was not able to do that then he will tell her secret to her husband. Nora started to convince Torvald that not to fire Krogstad but he does not agree. Nora started to take tension about her married life because she knows that when Torvald get to know about her secret, he will surely punish her or left her.
When Torvald came to know about Nora’s secret, Nora decided to suicide because she never wants to live a life without Torvald. Then Torvald tells her that she had made a huge mistake which she should not do that, she broke his trust. He told her that he would not let her raise his children and she ruined his life forever.
Later on, Krogstad came and told Torvald that he will no longer blackmail Nora about the money and Torvald should forgive her for her mistake. Torvald came around instantly by judging the situation, but sadly he broke Nora’s heart. Nora becomes so depressed that why she loved that person so much who does not even deserve her love. Why she lent money only to save his life and why she decided to end her life just because she does not want to live without her husband. She decided to left Torvald, and she did it at the end of the play.
The play and its story showed the love of a married woman who had done everything to make his husband happy, and even she lent money just to save his life. It is a cultural context of married women in our societies and communities. A woman always sacrifices her wishes, her life, her habits, her dreams, even her honor just to make her husband happy. It’s the culture of our society where the man is free to do whatever he wants to do, and no one blames him even on his wrong acts just because most societies are male dominated.
The only mistake of Nora is that she never tells her husband that she lent money to save his life and she saves money all in these years to return to the person who lent her money. It was not a mistake that could make her wrong, but in reality, she had done the sweetest thing because she was in love with her husband and faithful to him. She just wanted to save his life, but his husband was a traditional man who only saw the little mistake of Nora and makes it so huge that hurts Nora badly.
She spent her precious life years with this man who suddenly changed on a little mistake and who is the one promises her to make her happy till the rest of their lives. Nora did what she needs to do, whoever was in her place do that what she had done, but sadly the man does not worth that love and affection.
The play not only pictured a life of one traditional lady of the 19th century but it represents the domestic life of every woman of the 19th century. In the past, traditional values and norms strictly applied on women and her married life. She was the one who suffers and never complains just to make their family and husband’s happy. Numerous women sacrificed their dreams, wishes, love, friendships just for the sake of their husband’s and the husband’s mostly the one who were not worth that love and sacrifices similarly like Nora.
At the end of 19th century, the social standards of marriage were critically applied on women and their domestic lives. They were not allowed to tell a lie, keep a secret, go outside without permission and take a decision in their lives. The most responsibility of married life was of women, and she was the one who never complains about any of her circumstances with anyone.
Roles of women included the house chores, taking care of children and taking care of her husband. If a man gives divorce to his wife, then the wife suffers the most about the bad circumstances. The child custody was taken by the husband because the woman does not have enough resources or a job to take the child custody. In the case of Nora, she had made the right decision at the end of the play, which empowered the role of the women in the society and community. She left her husband because he hurts her that much and even does not worth the love of Nora. So the decision of Nora showed that it is the right of every woman to decide her life despite the fact that what the society or what the social norms will say about her. She is a human and deserves happiness and has the right to take right decisions for her.