25 May 2015
People cannot survive on their own in this world, so they form relationships. Relationships play an important role in a person's life; it influences and defines one's character and ideals. It can make someone the happiest person in the world or the most miserable. In order to establish a stable and long lasting relationship, there must be proper communication at the base of this bond. The rules of proper communication include: listening to each other, understanding the other person's emotions and needs, truthfully expressing one's view's, and supporting each other during times of adversity. In Henrick Ibsen's play, A Doll's House, he uses the character development of Nora Helmer, the protagonist, and Torvald Helmer, the antagonist, to emphasize the importance of communication in a healthy relationship.
A Doll’s House was published in 1879 in Norway. Women of that time were expected to be good mothers and wives. They were expected to take care of the domestic responsibilities, while the men took care of business and dominated the home (Historical Content). Most husbands tended to dismisses their wives opinions as insignificant. This narrow-minded thinking led to disrespect and inequality in a marriage. Respect, equality, trust, loyalty, and most importantly love are create a healthy relationship. These qualities can be achieved through communication. The marriage of Torvald and Nora reflects a typical marriage of the nineteenth century. Through the relationship of Nora and Torvald, Henrick Ibsen explores the detrimental effect of a relationship that lacks communication and respect. By illustrating an unsatisfactory marriage, he hopes to inspire the audience to view women as equals and to change the status quo of relationships.
As the play opens, Nora and Torvald's relationship is introduced as playful and flirtatious. Torvald uses endearing but demeaning nicknames to address Nora, such as, "little skylark", "little featherhead", "little squirrel, and "little spendthrift" (Act I). These animal names set a playful tone, while the repetition of the word "little" set a condescending tone. The condescending tone implies that Torvald is a male chauvininist. He believes women, especially his wife, should be "little[er]" than him. He thinks women are incapable of handling the outside world, and that they constantly need guidance, like a child. As Nora exhaustively says, "Pooh! We can borrow [the money] until then", she perfectly fits Torvald's stereotype of women by taking a childish persona. Nora lack of care about how the money is handled, displays her frivolous character. Her mostly short sentences that end with exclamation marks emphasize her child like excitement. This attitude makes her submissive in the relationship on her own will. Torvald's and Nora's juxtaposing characters accentuate the inequality in the marriage. The playful tone set by these characteristics implies that...