The Foolish Doll

     It seems that women tend to fall into relationships where they put on an act for their spouse, more often than men do. Often, people want to impress others badly enough to pretend to be someone else, and then they end up miserable. For example, in Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play and in the screen version (1973) of A Doll's House, directed by Patrick Garland, Nora Helmer is a woman who acts like her husband's doll, in order to please him. In the end, she realizes the life she is living is not her own and leaves. Many women today are finding themselves and striving for more life, like Nora. Nora was a strong, realistic character in both the play and the film.

     Nora acted as her father's doll and then as Torvald's doll (her husband). She was nothing more than a playmate to her children and a toy for her husband to show off. I pictured her to be a fake and materialistic person, who did not care enough about herself to change. Finally, she saw the light and left her family to find herself. I respected her for breaking away from a bad situation before it got worse, especially in that day and age. The play, however, made me ask why women stay in abusive relationships. Nora was in some way, emotionally abused because she was trained to act a certain way against her true desire.

     Nora in the film (Claire Bloom), played the role of Nora quite well. I had pictured her to be a little more extravagant, but she looked more like an average girl with a dream. She seemed to flirt more than I had imagined from the play, with Dr. Rank (her confidante, Ralph Richardson), but otherwise fit the role. She acted toward her children just as I had gathered from the book, like their playmate, and definitely was her husband's doll. When she decided to leave her husband (Anthony Hopkins), I had a stronger feeling that she could make it on her own than I did from the Nora in Ibsen's play. Overall, Claire Bloom filled Nora's shoes well.

Alison Brandow

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