Nora Deserves Better than Torvald

         Nora is an outstanding young woman in Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House, filmed twice in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively. She (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) is much smarter and brighter than to put up with Torvald's (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) behavior. What Torvald is doing to Nora is a bunch of crap. There are many reasons why I believe that Nora should leave and not go back to Torvald, and I hope that in this essay you will realize how much of a jerk that Torvald is and why Nora should not go back to him.

         For one, Torvald is very controlling. He tries to control every move that Nora makes. Nora can do so much better than a controlling guy. Torvald has no right to control Nora the way that he does. He tries to tell her everything to do and what she can and cannot eat and do. An example of this is evident when Nora tries to hide that she has been eating macaroons. He has told her that macaroons were not allowed in the house anymore. He should not care if she eats macaroons or not. It does not really matter. I can relate to Nora. I was in a controlling relationship once. He tried to tell me when I could go somewhere and when I had to be with him. He wanted me with him twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and that was not going to happen. I finally just told him to shove it, and got out of the relationship because I realized that I did not have to put up with that. I am my own person, and he had no right to control me like that.

         Next, Torvald did not give her any rights. This kind of goes along with that he was controlling. He did not allow her to go out and do anything, or to buy any presents unless she had permission from him. Torvald did not even allow Nora her rights to the mail. Only Torvald had a key to the mailbox on the inside of the door. Nora was so scared when the letter from Krogstad (Edward Fox/Denholm Elliot) came. She was scared that when Torvald read the letter and found out that Nora had borrowed some money, while forging her dead father's signature, from Krogstad that Torvald would go ballistic. She was right because he did not want Nora to borrow money or put him under Krogstad's thumb. If Nora had the key to that box, she could have taken the letter out before Torvald got it out of the box to read it. Nora could not do anything without Torvald's permission. This is absolutely absurd and not right. Women have the right to their own lives and should be treated well and not like slaves, squirrels, or housewives.

         Also, Torvald treats Nora like a doll. Torvald makes the house that he and Nora live in look like a doll's house. He tries to make the house look all critiqued and weird. Also, he treats Nora like a doll calling her his "little squirrel" and expecting her to come running every time that he says that, and also Claire Bloom's Nora does that little squirrel nose and squirrel noise every time that she wants something from Torvald. Also, he treats Nora as if she is fragile and does not allow her to go out and do anything. If I were in her situation and my husband treated me like a doll, and made my house look like a doll's house, I would leave in a minute. I do not want to be treated badly, but I also do want to have some rights.

         Finally, Torvald does not understand anything. First of all, Torvald does not understand why Nora borrowed the money. Nora borrowed the money for him because he was sick and Doctor Rank (Trevor Howard/Ralph Richardson) thought that he needed to go somewhere warm. Every reason she borrowed the money was for him, but Torvald did not understand that. Torvald also, got even madder because Nora had forged her father's signature. I can understand that, but she was doing it so that she could borrow the money, so that Torvald could get better. David Warner's Torvald gets surly; but Anthony Hopkins' Torvald yells at her, calls her a stupid woman and hits her.

         In conclusion, I believe that Torvald is just a selfish, controlling man. Nora does not need a man that is selfish and controlling. She should be allowed to be her own person and do what she wants. She is human and makes mistakes, and Torvald should love her for who she is, not what she has done.

Michelle Loveridge

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