Being a Strong Woman

         In watching A Doll's House, directed Patrick Garland in 1973 and based on Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play, I found a new meaning of being strong. From the beginning of the movie I thought that Nora, as portrayed by Claire Bloom, was deeply in love with Torvald, as depicted by Anthony Hopkins, but Torvald was not to be in love with Nora. Nora seemed to fall at his feet, and she would do anything to make him happy. At first I saw Nora as a dependent person that wanted the approval of her husband, and nothing short of that would make her happy.

         Torvald at first seem to be a very hateful man that was never happy about anything. He wanted to make Nora inferior to him and make her feel less than she was worth. He never gave her credit where credit was due; and most of the time he was putting her down by calling her silly animal names, such as squirrel and skylark. He always thought that she could have done a better job at whatever she was doing, especially saving more money.

         As the movie went on, I started to see both of these characters in a whole new light. Especially towards the end, Nora became independent and more of a woman. She started to stand up for herself and let Torvald know that she really did not need him around when he thought she needed him around. Then she told him she was leaving him and did so.

         Torvald, as played by Anthony Hopkins, who was younger than Claire Bloom, on the other hand, seemed to start needing Nora. He started to use her as a crutch, and he seemed to have to have her around. Watching him with her was like watching a sixteen-year-old boy in love with his teacher, especially when she asserted that she did not love him any more and was going to walk out on him. It was interesting to see the ways in which the characters changed throughout the movie and throughout time.

         I thought that this movie was a good example of the ways in which women sometimes get treated as though they were dwellers in dolls' houses. Most of the time some women will be treated as if they will break if one touches them because they appear to be such fragile individuals. To me it is always nice to see a woman who is not that fragile and can stand up for herself to let the man know that she can be by herself and that she can be independent.

Wendy Barger

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