A Woman's World in a Doll's House

         One of the best movies we watched in this class was the 1973 film A Doll's House, directed by Joseph Losey. This is a film version of Ibsen's 1879 play A Doll's House that made me a laugh, made me feel nervous for Nora and touched me in other ways as well. The film stars Jane Fonda as the leading character, Nora Helmer. Jane Fonda has done a remarkable job playing Nora in this movie. This could be the reason she is so well known for her acting still today.

          In 1879 it was unheard of for a woman to actually leave her husband; and, even in 1973, such an act was not so acceptable as it is today. At the end of this film Nora does the unexpected and leaves Torvald, played by David Warner. She calmly explains to him how she cannot and does not love him anymore. She plays the part so well she had me feeling bad for Torvald. I believe Fonda chose this to do this movie because she knew it would cause an uproar in so many ways. The woman's movement was on the tip of everyone's tongues during the 70's; this was Fonda's way of expressing her beliefs on the matter.

          The play A Doll's House gives the impression that Nora is a fragile, happy person that simply floats from scene to scene. Losey wanted a woman that is stereotypical of just that, a doll. A beautiful, petite, Caucasian woman in her early twenties would have fit the part perfectly. This is exactly what Jane Fonda did for the part of Nora. At the end of the play though, Nora takes a turn. She becomes a strong woman, expressing to Torvald exactly why she cannot be with him. Fonda's efforts to promote her opinions for women's rights were well known and appreciated in this film and earned her many awards.

Brandy Couleas

Table of Contents