Good Henrik Ibsen’s Doll House: Analysis Of The Final Scene Essay Example
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Nora has Helmer sit down so they can have a serious discussion. Nora points out to Helmer that they have never had a serious discussion about what matters in the entire eight years of their marriage. Helmer perceives this situation differently from Nora. He thinks that their everyday conversation about the children and solving problems of running a household constitute serious discussion. The two individuals have completely different ideas of what a serious talk includes. Helmer thinks of serious conversation as burdening Nora with his cares and worries. However, it shows how Helmer perceives Nora. He perceives her as someone who will be there to solve problems while Nora has different needs. Nora feels that Helmer treats her like a doll. She was never given freedom of choice in her marriage to him and was thus made to conform to the desires and needs of men. She has not been able to grow into her personal identity that is independent of the life Helmer provides her. Helmer sees the sacred duty of marriage as being a good wife and taking care of their children. Nora does not think she is bound to this sacred duty and feels that by staying with Helmer. She sees marriage as a game, a game she is no longer willing to play. Helmer offers a solution. He says that he will be her teacher, but again Helmer still does not see Nora’s point. Just as she does not want to be a doll in a doll’s house, she also does not want to be a student to a teacher. She does not see herself as a teacher at all, and she feels that she must first be able to be teacher for herself. One reason she chooses to leave Helmer is so she can learn how to teach herself to face reality by being alone, apart from the bond of marriage. Helmer tries to use his authority as husband to forbid her from leaving, but it is evident that for Nora she no longer feels obligated to the authority invested in marriage.
Nora’s argument about marriage alludes to a naturalist view of human relationships. At the beginning of the scene, she “suddenly appears in street clothes.” She does not have to dress the part of wife any longer. She tells Helmer that she is just a human being like he is. In other words, in the ideology of Helmer’s worldview, women and men perform certain prescribed roles. However, in these roles, women are subjugated to men. In a naturalist view, there are no such roles or rules. Man and woman are both human. The laws that circumscribe marriage, borrowed from the laws of religion, do not have power over Nora, in the same way, that they have power over Helmer. Religion stands in as an absolute authority in the play, one that lays out the rules for engagement between husband and wife. As Nora says, she has passively been given these laws through religious instruction. However, it ceases to be an infallible guide for her to dictate what kind of human being she ought to be in relationship with her husband and her children. In order to fully become a human being, in the naturalist sense, she has to break apart from the construct of marriage dictated by abstract laws, in order to become an authentic human being. It is this motivation that gives her the strength to walk out on Helmer and leaves him for good.
In 2015, it is still not uncommon for women to feel constrained by men’s demands. Women still make less on the dollar in the workplace as compared to men, and women are often treated unfairly in terms of job promotion. It is still common for society to view women as “natural” caregivers and mothers. Also, women are judged differently from men. A woman who is strong-willed is often considered a “b*%*”” while a man who is strong-willed just has a good head on his shoulders. While women today are given more opportunities to become their individuals, as compared to Ibsen’s world, there are still times when small-mindedness still plays a part in limiting women’s success.