In the 1879 play A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, and in two similar 1973 film adaptations, by directors Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland; Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom), the main character, makes the shocking decision to leave her husband, Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) and her children. This controversial decision leaves many people bewildered. Some may ask themselves how a mother can leave her children for her own sake. Today, people still ask the same question, a problem that has more recently plagued our modern society. Too many young men and women leave the responsibility of their children to others. In fact according to US Today Online, "Twenty-two million children go home to single parents or guardians." Recent reports suggest that children who grow up with married parents are healthier, happier, and more likely to do well than those of single parents.

         First, single-parent children have an increased risk for health problems, especially for suicide and mental illness. According to US Today Online, researchers found that "children of single-parent households were at an increased risk for suicide attempts, mental illness, injury, and addiction." The numbers are astounding for drug addiction among single-parent children. Single-parent children are almost four times more likely to use narcotics than children with married parents. The health problems associated with single-parent households are overwhelming.

         Similarly, children exposed to homes with married parents are happier and more likely to succeed as adults. According to a recent study, seventy percent of all children growing up in a single-parent home live below poverty level. Single parents simply lack the funds necessary to provide and adequate home for their children. These children also account for largest number of high school dropouts each year in the US. Single-parent children also have an enormously high crime rate compared with those with married parents. A child growing up with only one parent is almost destined for failure.

         In conclusion, Nora's rash decision to leave her husband and her children for her own sake was ultimately a wrong one. Only under severe circumstances must a mother leave her children, such as a life-or-death situation. I feel Nora failed to consider all the consequences and effects her decision had on all those around her. With single-parent households on the increase for the new millennium, we all need to think about the consequences and the effects of our actions.

Josh Siljander

Table of Contents