The Puppet’s Master

         I love the play A Doll's House, written in 1879 by Henrik Ibsen and filmed in 1973. When one first reads the play or watches the version directed by Patrick Garland and starring Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins first thought would be that Nora is the doll. However, when one takes a closer look at the situation, one could see that maybe Torvald is the doll being played with.

         The play leads one to believe that Nora is the precious doll being played with, and that is what I believed at first. The way she plays with the children and acts so childish with Torvald one would believe it is Torvald who is the "master of the puppet." The way he makes her dress and performs at parties, and the way he makes her beg for money makes Torvald look to be in charge. Therefore, the audience does not think anything of her but being a grown child. Torvald criticizes Nora and tells her how to behave; he even prevents her from eating chewy coconut cookies such as macaroons. He makes it appear that he is Nora's backbone and that without him she would not function.

         By taking a second look at the play, one will see that it is really Nora who is in charge. Deep down Nora is a grown woman hidden within because she is required to live like a child to keep Torvald happy. Nora is the one that does not depend on Torvald; he depends on her to play with him and keep him entertained. She is able to take out a loan to support her husband when he is ill and repay the loan without him knowing it. Therefore, she has to manage her money in order to keep the loan paid. When Nora tells Torvald she is tired of playing the doll and wants to take charge of her own life, is Torvald who seems as if he cannot make it without her.

         I believe Nora was an adult inside. It just took some convincing to get her to bring out that personality. After the fit of temper reaction Torvald had when he found out that she had taken out a loan, forging her dead father's signature, and that he was in debt to another individual, Nora realized what she had been putting up with the past years and it was not worth it. In this play, I am convinced that Torvald was the doll because Nora was able to control him by acting as his pet. Nora was really in control the whole time. She just let him think he was. I believe that if Nora and Torvald had talked more, then he would have realized what a brilliant woman he had; and I think she would have been treated better. I believe at the end of the story that Nora had to leave to find herself because she was so unhappy being something she was not.

Britney Darnell

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