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Nora’s Dream House

(batteries sold separately)

         Nora Helmer has been forced to live like a human doll. She has been taken care of by both her husband and her father. She has been given what she wants. She has a nice house, and she is happy. It must be terrible. Even if she does not want to be treated this way, she started it. She does not even try to stop it, until someone is mean to her for the first time in her life.

         The play A Doll's House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, filmed in 1973 by Patrick Garland, is the story of a spoiled woman-a woman who has always gotten what she wants. Her husband treats her like a little girl, a reputation she has earned. She is the happiest when her husband, Torvald, is giving her money. For all Torvald knows she is perfectly happy. I think she is. She is perfectly happy living her doll's life, until Torvald shows some real emotion. If he is not going to live to please her, she is not going to live with him. She says she does not want to live like a doll, but she does. She says she is leaving to live on her own, but she will not. I think she will come back. She will come back to live with all of her accessories.

         In the film version directed by Patrick Garland, Nora is played by Claire Bloom. She is the childish, annoying Nora you would expect. She acts like a girl in a woman's body. She is obnoxiously cute. She prances around the house, making squirrel gestures and noises to placate Torvald (Anthony Hopkins). What else would we expect from a doll woman? Claire Bloom does a good job of portraying the inner workings of the character.

         Do not pity Nora. Nora had what she wanted. If Torvald would not have gotten angry at her, justifiably, she would have died at his side. She did lead a doll's life. It was the life she wanted. It was the life she chose.

Devin Wilber

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