Nora's Courage

         In Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play, A Doll's House, Nora displays womanly courage through her realization of her own worth. She took out a loan when her husband, Torvald, was sick. She did this to save his life by taking him on a trip that the doctor had recommended. Later on, when he discovered she had done this, he was extremely outraged because this situation would ruin his reputation. Men were supposed to care for the women, and now Nora had gone and borrowed money to help her husband, belittling him under social standards. After this discovery, Torvald resolved that they must now focus on appearances and keep their relationship looking normal, and Nora was not to be around her children because he could not trust her anymore. She realized at this point how her whole family acted and treated each other like dolls

         This surfacing of fakeness was even more apparent in Patrick Garland's 1973 film, A Doll's House. The movie showed more emotion in the violent scenes of awareness towards the family's future. After the ordeal was partly discussed, Torvald (Anthony Hopkins) hit Nora (Claire Bloom) because of her foolishness in these matters, whereas he should have been grateful that she had courageously saved his life by being responsible with a lot of money. Most women at this time would not have known what to do in her predicament.

         Nora showed even more of her courageous conscious mind when she decided to abandon Torvald and her children because she must pursue happiness for herself. She left more directly and abruptly in the film, pointing out how her children had been treated like dolls by them and how they had treated each other like dolls and had never had any serious conversations until now. Their first real experience with communication would be the one that would tear them apart. They were not compatible to deal with reality and the turmoil that life sometimes delivers.

         Nora needed more love, communication, and understanding in her life; she needed a real family. So, she was honorable to herself and did what most women did not have the courage to do; she left with the hope of a better, happier future.

Rebecca Hardin

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