Nora And Torvald In Henrik Ibsen's Character Analysis

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Moreover, Ibsen’s characterization of Nora and Torvald also contributed to the sense of familiarity in the audience. Nora is initially presented as a conventional, submissive and money-loving housewife who simply follows every instruction given by her husband Torvald. He, in turn, addresses her as his “little squirrel” or “skylark” (Ibsen 3), regarding her more as a plaything or pet rather than an independent person. These first impressions are immediately formed with remarks such as: “But don't you think it is nice of me, too, to do as you wish?" (Ibsen 4). In these conversations between the couple, the audience can detect Nora’s charming manner which reinforces Torvald’s image as a protector. This realistic representation of a traditional couple, which strongly relies on stereotypes, is an important factor that contributes to the shocking effect of the ending as it suggests naïve, middle-class housewives were in fact capable of reaching autonomy. Within a society in which women were virtually powerless, this was an outrageous idea for both men and women.…show more content…
Ibsen was merciless in his quest to uncover negative sides of society: hypocrisy, manipulative behavior and use of public opinion to suppress individuals. The play is not only a picture of an innocent nineteenth century woman struggling to achieve self-definition but also a devastating portrayal of a marriage between two people who lack awareness of themselves and who have differing views of right and wrong. Torvald unquestioningly accepts society’s dicta of the husband as a jobholder and moral authority, but Nora’s attempt to conform as the submissive wife forces her into lies and deception. Both care about what people think and neither consciously considers opposing society’s morals. Consequently, the play may be considered an attack upon traditional family values which changed the way the western world viewed

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