Hi, I am glad that you have taken your time to read and like this play, though with disappointments towards its end. I am writing to simply inform and justify the fact that the play’s ending is just in relation to the main characters and themes portrayed in the play. Nora is justified to have left her family. This can be explained right from the definition of A Doll’s House as a play.
A Doll’s House is a play written by Henrik Ibsen. It is composed of 3 scenes and all the scenes revolve around a loan which was taken by Nora. This loan had two issues: first, it was taken with a forged signature and, second, it was kept by Nora as a secret. She took the loan in order to buy medication for her husband, Torvald. The things went the wrong way, however; Torvald was extremely unhappy with Nora’s actions, which conditioned the ending of the story. He was also of the opinion that Nora should not have left him, but instead should have forgiven him. She should have stayed behind to act as mother and as wife.
There are many reasons why you would argue that Nora should not have left her husband. This play was set in the 19th century, and during this period there was utmost respect for the family unit. Divorce was not common and a wife would always be subordinate to her husband no matter what happened. It would therefore, have been the norm during such a time that Nora would forgive her husband and stay behind. This was especially so after her husband broke into tears begging her to stay.
At least, Nora should have considered forgiving her husband because of all the sacrifice she had gone through for the sake of his health and reputation. She lived her life always anxious that her husband would discover the loan scheme or that someone would reveal it. She had also struggled so much to repay the money before her husband started working in the bank. Now that Torvald learned the secret and his reputation could not be tampered with, he should have considered giving her a second chance. Nora and Torvald had had to work for long hours to get the money before her husband was employed at the bank. She also took her husband all the way to Italy when he was sick in a bid to look for medication. When leaving, she threw away all she has worked and suffered for. Rarely is such a character found in the traditional scenario.
Nora and Torvald had children from their marriage. Their relationship before the issue of the loan had been very harmonious. By leaving, Nora only thought of herself to the detriment of her children. She did not take them into consideration in deciding to leave their father. It is natural to then argue that Nora should have stayed for the sake of her children, because they would most certainly be affected by the family break-up. Nora was too insensitive towards her children. She never thought of the consequences and that, when her children would grow up, they would want to know where their mother went.
However, we can also say that Nora was justified in leaving her husband because of the betrayal she endured. All her marriage life she had acted in his interest. She risked her life and reputation when she borrowed the loan with a forged signature. The money borrowed was for the mediation for her husband because Nora had no money. When Torvald learned about the loan and how Nora had been struggling to repay it in secret, often denying herself basic necessities, he scorned her. He should have appreciated her efforts to save his life, as well as his reputation. Nora did all that she did because she loved her husband, but he did not appreciate her efforts in return. Being a human being with human feelings, Nora could not stand all the humiliation and therefore she may have been justified to leave.
From the plot, it can also be seen that Nora and Torvald had different characters. When Nora set out to shop for Christmas gifts, he rebuked her for spending a lot of money on unnecessary things. People normally do more shopping during the Christmas time and Nora was no exception. She might have wanted her family to be comfortable and enjoy the Christmas season, but Torvald was seeing this as a waste of money. Although Torvald was the only one to have a job, it might still have been okay to spend more at least once a year, for Christmas. What this clash showed is that Nora and Torvald had contrasting personalities and it would be difficult for them to live harmoniously all their marriage life. Nora showed her character of a miser, while Torvald was too sensitive about money. So Nora might have been justified to leave her husband, because they were bound to have more misunderstandings in future.
Torvald also did not respect Nora as his wife. This could be seen from the fact that Nora was blackmailed by Krogstad into begging her husband not to fire him. Nora tried her best to beg her husband to retain Krogstad in the bank as an employee. However, her husband ignored her and even sent the maid with the dismissal letter to Krogstad in the presence of his wife. Had he really loved and respected his wife, Torvald would have tried enquiring from Nora why she was insisting on Krogstad being retained at work. At this point, he would have learnt of Krogstad’s blackmail, comforted his wife, or tried to help her. However, Torvald turned a deaf ear towards his wife’s begging. Nora may also have been justified in leaving Torvald because he did not care about her feelings at all.
Torvald also sought forgiveness from Nora only after the contract letter containing Nora’s forged signature had been returned by Krogstad. Apparently, Torvald forgave Nora not because he had accepted what she had done but only because everything was fine again. It showed that Torvald was selfish caring only about his reputation. He had thrown bitter accusations at Nora and even told her that she would not be allowed to raise his children. It was apparent that he would not have sought forgiveness had Krogstad not have returned the contract. Torvald did not even ask Nora what prompted her to take a loan and, in doing so, forge a signature. All that he cared about was how the people in the community would think about him. At least, it was not important for him to seek forgiveness, as he was totally avoiding the question.
In conclusion, I am of the opinion that Nora did the right thing by leaving Torvald’s house. No matter what would happen, he was only good to her when she was on the right and never cared for her when she needed him the most. However, in doing so, she should have given herself some time to think about the repercussions of leaving a place that had been her home for eight years. She should also have taken her children into consideration since they might not be well taken care of after her departure.