A Psychoanalytical Approach to A Doll’s House Sigmund Freud, a well known psychologist, argues that childhood experience influences adult life in the pursuit of happiness. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a prime example of Freud’s theory as the protagonist, Nora, regresses to her past childlike habits of happiness within a voiceless marriage. Nora is limited to mental developmental growth because she is fixated in an adolescent state. In order for Nora to truly find her identity in the end, her illusions of happiness must be shattered. Nora takes pride in thinking of herself as the perfect housewife and mother. She, just as every other wife, plays often with her children and attends formal parties on her husband’s arm. She is told …show more content…
She does not begin to fully develop as a grown woman mentally until she believes she can no longer take pride in being a good mother. Nora, only trying to take care of her husband, borrowed money without Torvald’s knowing. This guilt causes Nora to exemplify Freud’s reaction formation. (Myers). This occurs when a person who feels one way towards a person acts the opposite of how they are feeling. In Nora’s case, she subconsciously feels guilt for lying to Torvald so she works hard to be the perfect wife towards him. Her guilt does not affect her conscious until Torvald mentions hypocritical mothers. He states, “Nearly all young criminals have had mothers who lied.” [Ibsen 1136]. This guilt causes doubt in Nora’s mind as she begins to believe that she is no longer a perfect mother. She …show more content…
Her pain stems from her fantasy falling apart. As Maurice Valency writes, “A Doll’s House ...describes in a very convincing manner the process of falling out of love. It's force, however lies not in the superficial action, which in any case lacks suspense, but in the psychological undercurrent which it generates. The man Nora loves is a creature of fantasy…” [Valency 155]. As Valency argues, the life that Nora lives is one of sheltered fiction. Valency continues, describing Nora as a “rebellious daughter” and Torvald as the “archetype father.” [Valency 155]. This is the exact reason that Nora is so happy in her voiceless marriage: she has never been able to experience independence. Sigmund Freud argues that women look to marry a man like their fathers, in his developing theory called the “Electra Complex.” Although the Electra Complex states that young girls feel jealousy for their own mothers, Freud’s theory on this topic shows that one cannot develop if they are fixated at this stage [Myers]. It is this fixation that causes Nora’s contemptment in life. It is the pain of her husband calling her a hypocrite and disowning her that pushes her past this phase, causing final development into an independent woman. Without this pain, Nora would not be pushed past this fixation. Maurice Valency writes, “She throws off her servitude; she is emancipated and
When Nora dances the Tarantella and dances more violently, her ego then employs the sublimation defence. This is to express her distress and unhappiness on Torvald almost finding out, however this is done on a socially acceptable way. The relationship between Nora and Torvald is also remarkable, for it resembling that of a father and daughter. The resemblance can be seen
This brings in to question whether or not it is acceptable for a woman to simply walk away from a marriage, involving three children, and not attempt to work things out. Nora realizes she and the life she has been living has been a complete construct of the way society expects her to be. Nora is Torvald’s doll and her life has not amounted to anything more than making sure he and the world around her is happy. The result of the inequalities she is faced with results in Nora being completely unhappy. Torvald fails to recognize everything that Nora does to ensure his happiness.
However both woman had endured abuse and are victims of a male dominated society. Nora the wife of a banker and a mother of three children seem to have it all. Her family lives in a fancy well-furnished home and they seems to well of financially, and her husband loved her very much. However the reader soon find out that he is an egotistical controlling man that sees Nora as an absent minds child.
Nora is a married woman and has children to take care of. She really has little freedom because of the way Torvald treats her. She is not even I feel as if deep down she knows she is not free and wants something more in her life then to be a entertaining puppet for Torvald. She realizes at the end of the story that Torvald is not good to her because of the way he acted when she told him about forging the signature. When Torvald called her a criminal and other harsh words she realized that she had no true love from Torvald and wanted to be free from him.
Nora, the protagonist and wife of Torvald Helmer is presented as naïve and oppressive person who doesn’t have a past experience of the outside world. Nora’s husband represents the position of authority treating his wife as no equal but rather as a child. The author was intended to incorporate the stereotype of the perfect family and their respective roles. The first act take place during Christmas Eve, as Nora Helmer enters the house to her well furnished and decorate living room, carrying some packages and a Christmas tree. Since the first act the author
In the end, Nora inevitably chooses to leave her family. In this decision to as stated “educate” herself, she leaves her children motherless, and runs from a substantial household. Some may say that she was unhappy, but Nora never brought it to Torvald’s attention that she was unhappy and chooses to leave him behind without ever giving
It is mentioned in act 3 (pg.) when Nora says, “I’ve been your wife-doll here just as at home I was Papa’s doll-child.” She states that she was always objectified by her father and husband she was never being treated as a human being. There were always expectations set out for Nora to fulfill as women were given a submissive role in the society. Society’s expectations never stop towards women as they were judged in terms of purity and domesticity.
After eight years of marriage, what allows Nora to see that she must break free from the “Doll’s House”? “A Doll’s House” is a play written by Henrik Ibsen, set in late nineteenth century where women were expected to uphold social norms of being a submissive wife and a caring mother. In the beginning of the play, Nora is initially portrayed as a naive and obedient “doll” trapped inside of a “Doll’s House”, but towards the end of the play, Nora is able to come to the realisation that she was never happy during her eight years of marriage with Torvald, leading to her leaving Torvald and breaking free from the “Doll’s House”. This essay will explore the different factors which allows Nora to see why she must break free.
Nora on the surface seems to be the epitome of a 19th-century wife, but the audience quickly realizes that she defies gender expectations with the forged loan and eventually with her separation from Helmer. Helmer not only fits perfectly into his masculine role but blindly
Gender representation is a theme in which is common when focusing on the form and content of both Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godott. Even though they are represented in different manners they both highlight the gender norms during the time period they were written. Within Beckett’s writings masculinity is prominent, centralizing the powerful and protruding gender focal point. Whereas Ibsen includes the female perspective and allows the readers to become aware of the gender representation as such.
Nora has spent all her life doing what her husband had told her. She has three kids that are looked after by the nursery, Anne-Marie. She didn’t want to spend more times with her kids, her opinion that they may grow and learn by themselves. Not only that, her attitude is more like a child in the house, because she could ask for
During act III, Nora asked to speak to Torvald after her performance of the tarantella dance. The following conversation demonstrated her quest for autonomy and freedom, as well as Torvald’s inadequate responses to her arguments and demands; it also showed how deeply connected her unhappy situation is with society’s regulation of the relationship between the sexes. She asserts that she is “...first and foremost a human being”, and her strong conviction that her womanhood, and the expectations associated with it, are secondary, strengthens her resolve to make a radical choice: A break with both husband and, with necessity due to her legal position, her children (Ibsen, 184). During her conversation with Torvald, she proclaims, “I have other sacred duties... The duties to myself (Ibsen, 184).”
Kristine explains that she has “No one to work for, and yet obliged to be always on the lookout for chances.” ( Act I, pg. 762) While this is negative, Kristine wouldn’t have these worries if she were dependent on someone else. Nora wishes that she be free of her husband and children, as she perceives them to restrict her from being able to grow as a person.