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Torvald's Dominance Essay

1332 words - 6 pages

In "A Doll's House", Nora is Torvald Helmer's little "skylark" (368) who seems to be dominated by him in every single way: mentally, physically, and financially. Torvald treats Nora as if she were a child or some other creature that is incapable of thinking. She lives a sheltered life in which there is no need of worrying about problems like the ones that Ms. Linde has encountered. Torvald simply tells her what do and how to do it. One could even go as far as saying that Nora is constantly living a dream and hasn't awakened. Another way Torvald controls her is by being the only source of income for Nora and the rest of the family. He holds a successful position as manager of a bank where he ...view middle of the document...

Nora denies it, but Helmer wags his finger at her and says, "My little songbird must never do that again. A songbird must have a clean beak to sing with; otherwise she'll start twittering out of tune" (388). Torvald is being continually pestered by his wife to not fire Krogstad. She tells him that if he does, Krogstad will publish something dreadful about him in the newspaper. He tells her,Very well. We shall share it, Nora-as a man and wife. And that is as it should be. Are you happy now? There, there, there; don't look at me with those frightened little eyes. You're simply imagining things. You go ahead now and do you tarantella, and get some practice on that tambourine. I'll sit in my study and close the door. Then I won't hear anything, and you can make all the noise you want.This statement seems show Torvald talking to Nora as if she were a little girl. He even goes as far as calling her a child on several occasions. Torvald received a letter from Krogstad, but Nora didn't want him to read it until the banquet was over. He tells her, "My child shall have her way" (405). After Krogstad returns the I.O.U., Torvald says,There is something indescribably wonderful and satisfying for a husband in knowing that he has forgiven his wife-forgiven her unreservedly, from the bottom of his heart. It means that she has become his property in a double sense; he has, as it were, brought her into the world anew; she is now not only his wife but also his child.Nora asked Dr. Rank about carrying out come sort of scientific experiment. Torvald replied, "Scientific experiment! Those are big words for my little Nora to use!" (413). Scientific experiment isn't really that big of a word, yet Torvald thinks it is too complicated for his "little silly". Nora is clearly dominated as a child or creature would be by a parent, owner, or caretaker.Neither Nora nor anyone else in the family has a source of money other than Torvald. By being the only source of income, Torvald controls Nora financially. She cannot simply go out and buy what she wants. He decides when Nora's spending is and isn't appropriate. In the first scene of the play, Nora tells Torvald to come and see the Christmas presents she has bought. Disturbed by the sight of the gifts, he says, "Bought, did you say? All that? Has my little squanderbird been...

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