The Ecstasy of Freedom

         In the 1973 motion picture version of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House directed by Patrick Garland, I noticed a particular action that struck me at the end on the film. Nora (Claire Bloom), who was in the Garland version, was at the end with Torvald (Anthony Hopkins) fighting about the kept secret money that had been illegally loaned. Torvald then slaps Nora in the face, seeking vengeance on his own wife, without consideration for his actions. With this at hand a letter that is in the mailbox contains freedom from the sins committed by Nora on her husband.

         Torvald then seeks redemption by asking forgiveness for his anger and is denied by Nora. I love the fact that she denies him of the forgiveness and shows him no mercy for his action. As a human Torvald has not thought of what he has had and thus is was humbled by Nora's newfound exploration of freedom. Anthony Hopkins showed this best by begging for mercy and totally showing no pride in asking forgiveness. It was so interesting to see how the tides have changed so quickly when Nora decides to leave. Torvald is so upset because he has thought he had everything in his grasp; and, just as the title claims; he is been deprived of the role of puppet master.

         Nora knew nothing for herself or who she was as an individual. Contrary to popular opinion, I thought that Claire Bloom did a good job as the actress in the film. She totally gave me the vibe of a liberated woman, just as I had pictured in the book. How exciting for Nora in her new life, now away from the man that controlled her life. She is now free to find out her likes and dislikes. It seems that she had made the mistake that a lot of people make, in that people marry for financial security. I thought the essence of her epiphany was greatly portrayed in the film.

         In conclusion, I can see where the director took this movie to say the moral of the story is to "Start Living If You Are Dead." Although Nora was a woman, I believe that men can get in the same situation in modern day and one day realize the mess they are in. This could be a reason for all the failed marriages and divorces in the United States. Nora is now free to proclaim the world for her own.

Preston Bradley

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