If Nora Were My Doll I Would Pull Her Head off!

         Two adaptations of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House were made in 1973. One was directed by Joseph Losey, and the other by Patrick Garland. The problem with these films was not the acting, the cinematography, or the plot. The problem was simply Nora.

         I have had a problem with Nora since I read the play. I had found Nora annoying and self centered but somewhat forgivable until I saw the first film and then the second adaptation. Seeing the character of Nora onscreen, whether played by Jane Fonda or Claire Bloom, I fully realized how utterly self centered, annoying, and immature she is.

         The first thing that bothers me about Nora is that she thinks she is all-wonderful for saving her husband's good name. OK thanks, Nora, that was nice of you, but that does not give you the right to manipulate everyone around you to cover it up. And whom are you really covering up for--your husband or for yourself?

         What bothers me most about Nora is the fact that she says that she was everyone's doll. Nora is the puppet master in these films. Her children are her dolls, her husband is her doll, and Dr. Rank is her doll. Her children are nothing more than pretty little toys to keep her entertained when she feels the need. Her husband (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) is the money supplier and probably nothing more. Dr. Rank (Trevor Howard/Ralph Richardson) is her entertainment and her back-up plan. Everyone is a doll and an asset to Nora. She does not really care for or love anyone but herself.

         In the end I think that Nora gets better than she deserves. When Anthony Hopkins' Torvald whaled back and hit Claire Bloom's Nora, I could not help but smile because that is what she deserves. She leaves her children and her husband all because she feels like she is not educated enough. Sure she does not have the best relationship with her husband, but I imagine that is just as much her fault as his. I genuinely feel that he would have done his best with the annoying Nora to mend the relationship after the whole name-tarnishing ordeal. In conclusion, I hate Nora.

Curt Stewart

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