The readers of our time have many questions when he reads the “Doll House” by G. Ibsen. Time is different, people have changed, values have depreciated, on the one hand, on the other – it became more difficult to recognize their intelligence.
Nora’s image evokes a desire to sympathize with this woman, to marvel at her helplessness, to understand her actions, but not to condemn her, as it was during the appearance of the drama. Today we have gone much further in matters of family relations, which can not be explained and human understanding.
Falsity and hypocrisy permeate the home life of the family of lawyer Helmer. A sweet and meek, always animated Nora, a tender mother and wife, enjoys as if adoring her husband, is surrounded by cares, but in fact she is only a doll and a toy for him. She “is not allowed” to have her views, judgments, tastes. Having surrounded his wife with an atmosphere of teasing and sugary jokes, lawyer Helmer never talks to her about anything serious. The life of this cute and pretty woman is complicated, and it is impossible to name her “mistress” at home.
To save her husband who fell ill with tuberculosis in the first year of marriage, and take him on the advice of a doctor for treatment in Italy, Nora secretly takes money from the usurer and then, at the cost of hard labor, pays them. But according to the law of that time, humiliating a woman, she could not borrow money without a man’s guarantee. Nora put under the bill the name of her seriously ill father, who allegedly vouched for her solvency, that is, from the point of view of bourgeois justice, went on to forge a bill. Affiliated and conjugal love pushed her to a “crime” against the law. The moneylender Krogstad terrorizes Norah, requires a place in the bank, whose director is appointed her husband, otherwise threatens to hide Norah in jail. Fearfully afraid of exposure, Nora is forced to portray a happy woman, a gay doll. She still hopes for a miracle. It seems to her that her husband, “strong and noble man,” will save her, will support him in trouble. Instead, lawyer Helmer, receiving a letter from Krogstad, falls into a rage, predicts his wife a terrible, full of humiliation, life. From his point of view, she is a criminal, he forbids her to communicate with children so that she can not “corrupt them.”
Nora Ibsen is not so simple as it may seem. Often
she plays along with her husband. A special role in the drama is played by Dr. Rank. Did Nora love this man? It’s hard to say, but she can not take money from a doctor who has just confessed her love, which she is not able to answer. In the play, there is another female image – Fru Linna. It is an absolutely independent woman, accustomed to self-sacrifice and hard work. She was forced to marry an unloved person to provide a sick mother and younger brothers. After the death of her husband she worked and kept the whole family. Surrendering to self-sacrifice, she forgot about herself, abandoned Krogstad, whom she loved. Fro Linne feels a constant need to take care of someone, to think about close people; she returns to Krogstad to take care of him and his four children left without a mother.
In Ibsen’s play, an amazing thing happens: one woman throws her own children to find herself, and the other, who has already found herself, takes responsibility for other people’s children. It seems that the fighter for the emancipation of women from Ibsen did not work, but he wrote a play-discussion about the family, about women, and thank him for that. The last words of Nora, leaving the “doll house”, is the answer to her husband’s question: can everything else change in their relationship? “For this, it is necessary that the most amazing miracle happens… It’s so that you and I change… That our life together could become the life of a real married couple.”
The letter of Krogstad, in which he refuses from litigation, returns the peace of mind only to the lawyer. He again calls his wife affectionate names: she is again his “doll” and “bird”. Nora interrupts this flow of tenderness, giving her assessment of what is happening: their marriage is not a union of equals, loving people, their marriage was a simple cohabitation.
Nora believes that, before being a wife and mother, she must become a person. She leaves her husband, leaving three children. The ending of the play is a dialogue of the spouses explaining Nora’s behavior and decision.
To reproaches of the husband: “What ingratitude, were not you here happy?” – Nora replies: “No, only merry.” I was here your doll-wife, and the children were my dolls. ” She asks her husband why he did not protect her. Gel-measure sincerely surprised: “But who will sacrifice honor even for the sake of a loved one?” “Hundreds of thousands of women have sacrificed,” Nora protests, and bitterly concludes: “It became clear to me that all these eight years I lived with a stranger.”
A loud sound of the door slamming behind Nora is heard… So Ibsen and his heroine debunked the myth of a happy bourgeois family.