Change of Emotion

         I really like the 1879 play A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen. However, I cannot say the same of its cinematic adaptation. The 1973 movie of the same title, directed by Joseph Losey, does not grasp the characters' emotions in the original play.

         The play is set almost entirely inside the house. I believe this is done for a good reason. Nora is trapped. She is trapped by her secret, her husband, and her house. This feeling of being trapped is evident in the play. The house is almost a character itself. Within it is pretty much all that Nora has ever known. In the house, she can pretend to be as happy as everyone else thinks she is. Nora is the doll mentioned in the title, which even mentions the importance of the house.

         Even though the feeling of being trapped inside the doll's house is evident in the play, it is not in Joseph Losey's film. Jane Fonda's Nora is seen, repeatedly, running around the town in the snow. Though the scenery is beautiful, the trapped feeling of the play is completely lost.

         Another emotional aspect of the play that is lost during the movie is the appeal of Nora. Nora is portrayed, in the play, as a woman pretending because that is all she knows how to do. Maintaining Torvald's happiness with her is all she is concerned with. She does not even know her personal likes and dislikes.

         Jane Fonda does not portray a woman that does not know any other way to be. To me, she seems as if she knows what she really likes, though she says otherwise. Fonda portrays a woman that is just fed up with her husband. She does not portray Nora, who is trapped by many different things, including her own ignorance of herself.

Jennifer Stafford

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