A Lesson in Love

         In the 1973 film version of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play A Doll's House, Nora (Claire Bloom) plays the scandalous wife of Torvald (Anthony Hopkins). Although most people in reading the play A Doll's House, would focus on Nora and Torvald, the aspect that most stood out to me in this play came from the relationship between Mrs. Christine Linde and Mr. Nils Krogstad.

         In the play and the film, I felt that Nora and Torvald did not have a healthy marriage relationship. Torvald treats Nora as though she were his pet or toy. He is constantly calling her pet names such as squirrel and lark. He does not treat her as an equal, nor does he take her seriously. He enjoys having her around for show because she is beautiful and entertaining. Likewise, Nora is not a good wife to Torvald. She is deceitful and untrustworthy. Nora does have good reason to be dishonest about the loan because she is trying to save her husband's life. However, she has no excuse for all the lying about things, such as the macaroons. Although their relationship is portrayed better in the film than in the play, it is obvious that they do not truly love each other the way husband and wife should.

         However, I do think that an important lesson in love can be learned from the relationship between Mrs. Linde (Anna Massey) and Krogstad (Denholm Elliot), especially as it is depicted in the movie. Krogstad shows an example of true love when he is willing to give the document back to the Helmers and forget everything that has happened for the sake of love. Krogstad might have been a crooked man at some point in his life, but he knows what love is all about. Krogstad is willing to forgive and forget the fact that Christine had left him for another man with more money and a better position. He realizes the value of love. Christine and Krogstad need each other. I feel that they make a much better couple than Nora and Torvald.

Whitni Steele

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