Communication or Lack Thereof

     Identifying relationships can be a difficult task. Individuals normally have their own opinions about the definition of a perfect relationship. In the 1973 film version directed by Joseph Losey, as well as the 1879 play; written by Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Nora and her husband, Torvald, certainly have a very distinct kind of relationship. The relationship of the story fails due to the lack of real communication between husband and wife.

     Nora, played by Jane Fonda, is great at playing games. As the children enter the scene, she hurries them away with promises of playing hide and go seek with them. At this point she is almost acting the same age as the children. The tone of her voice even changes; it is higher pitched, almost childish. It is this same tone of voice that Nora uses with Torvald, portrayed by David Warner. Nora knows exactly how to play or manipulate Toravald into giving her money. This is the money that she pays off Krogstad, depicted by Edward Fox, with each month.

     Torvald is an absolute pig, or one could say, a male chauvinist. He has no idea how to treat a woman. He has several pet names for Nora. He seems to only use her real name when she is doing something that he does not agree with. When Nora acts in a way that he is pleased with, only then does he comply with her wishes.

     Torvald's strong work ethic is displayed throughout the entire film. His work seems to come before Nora, social events and most of all his children. I believe he rushes out of the room just as quickly as the guests when the children arrive, leaving the full responsibility up to Nora.

     The type of relationship that these two individuals have formed has many problems. Unfortunately the main problem has come to a head after eight years of marriage. Nora was able to borrow the money to help her husband back to better health. The lack of communication started as soon as she did this. Upon finishing the trip, Nora should have approached the subject about the debt the family was now in. Without their talking to one another, they discover that the debt situation is brought forth by Krogstad in a threatening way. This upsets Torvald to the point of yelling at his wife, and leaving Nora to feel that there is no solution other than getting out on her own.

     It is situations like this that cause the exact same things to happen in today's society. Better communication should be first on the list for every couple to talk about. It is better to find out problems in the start of a life together rather than years down the road.

Rachel Zaudke

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