Lonesome Spender

         Spending money, suffering from low self-esteem, seeking new friends, and obsessing are all traits of women whose husbands may spend too much time with their job. Getting married should be a great opportunity for two people to grow closer and learn love and a trust that only they can share and know together. Many see marriage as a way for people to grow together and experience life in ways they would not be able to do alone.

         With Nora's marriage to Torvald in A Dolls House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879 and filmed twice in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, they did not grow together as most couples do. Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) was excited about the marriage, but the excitement ended quickly when Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) seemed to be more involved in his work than progressing in his marriage with her. There is no doubt in my mind that he loved her; but I think that he was having an affair, not with another woman, but with his job. He was what one could say "married to his job." This was hard on Nora because she needed affection from her husband, and she was not receiving it. Therefore, she was led elsewhere for gratification, such as spending money.

         He harassed her about her spending power, but in my mind she had nothing else to do. She seemed to have low self-esteem, and that spending made her feel better. She also was keeping a very big secret from her husband, which is that she had secretly borrowed money from Krogstad (Edward Fox/Denholm Elliot), while forging her dead father's signature, to save her husband's life, but she was too scared to tell him. He treated her like a child; he never believed that she was capable of having an adult conversation with her. I do not know if she was ever planning on telling him the secret, but I think he would have made it a lot easier if they had had communication lines open in their relationship.

         I was watching the Dr. Phil show, during which he had women on the show that felt as though they came in second after their husbands' jobs. They showed many of the same traits as Nora did. They tended to spend lots of money because it made them happy, and the materialistic things helped fill the gap that the husband could not. However, because others do the same thing as Nora did, that does not mean that it is okay. But she did not do this herself. After Krogstad had forced the secret out in the open and brought about a violent reaction from Torvald, Nora did the right thing in realizing that she was not happy in the relationship and therefore she was right to leave him.

Courtney Wenande

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