Come Sit on My Lap, Little Girl

         I could not believe the way Torvald treats his wife, Nora, in the 1973 film A Doll's House, a film directed by Joseph Losey. that was created from the 1879 play, which is a long piece of dramatic prose fiction by Henrik Ibsen. I am not at all surprised by the actions Nora (Jane Fonda) takes by the end of the story.

         Almost from the beginning of the movie, Torvald, played by David Warner, is using pet names to associate with Nora. Now, it would not be so bad if Nora is, let us say, his daughter, but she is not. She is his wife. He calls her his "little squirrel" and his "little skylark" throughout the entire play and film. Similarly, he calls her his "little girl," acting as a father rather than a husband.

         Torvald knows that he controls Nora financially and emotionally because of the sheltered life she leads. He gives her money from time to time as if she is getting an allowance from him. Nora has children but is not a mother at all to them because she is a child herself. She plays with them at times only because she says they are "great fun." It is the nurse that actually takes care of the children.

         In a way, I can see why Torvald treats Nora as a child, but he takes advantage of her because she knows nothing else but to act like a child. I do not agree with Torvald calling her pet names and holding money in front of her face to bribe her. Having said that, I think Nora is completely "off her wheel." She dances around the house all day, eating her macaroons and hiding them from her husband. What kind of relationship is that?

         In closing, I would have left Torvald a long time before Nora, but I would not have left the children completely. Saying that, if I would have been in Torvald's shoes, I would not have married Nora or had children with her in the first place.

Ryan Peabody

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