Lack of Trust in a Family in A Doll’s House

Nora, a dutiful mother, and a wife spent most of the play putting others before herself. She thinks little of how her act of forgery and debt to Krogstad affect her personally, opting instead to stress about how they could impact the lives of her husband and youngsters. Even when she plans to kill herself near the top of the play, it’s not to hide her shame but rather because she thinks that if she is alive then Torvald will ruin himself in trying to guard her. During a similar vein, Mrs.Linde admits that, without a husband or any relations to worry for, she feels that her life is pointless. Therefore, both women find a wayof meaning in their lives through serving others and performing the caring, obedient role that society requires of them. During the play, however, Nora learns that prioritizing her duty as a wife and a mother cannot bring real happiness. She realizes when it becomes clear that Torvald would never have sacrificed his reputation to guard her, that while she thought she was sacrificing herself to guard her love, actually no such love existed, and indeed the structure of society makes the love she had alleged to be an impossibility. She, therefore, decides to go away from him to develop a way of her own identity. The play ends with Nora choosing to place herself as a private before society’s expectations of her.

At the start of the play, Nora appears to be a dutifully obedient and honest wife, however it’s quickly revealed that she is hiding a significant secret from him—the incontrovertible fact that she borrowed money from Krogstad to finance a visit to Italy that she claims saved Torvald’s life. This renders all her statements about never disobeying him or hiding anything from him deceitful. When she reveals her dishonesty to Mrs.Linde, Mrs.Linde insists that she needs to confess to Torvald immediately, insisting that a wedding cannot succeed when husband and wife aren’t completely honest with one another.A parallel occurs between Nora and Krogstad when it’s revealed that they both committed forgery. Their acts of deception spark the unraveling of both their lives—Krogstad’s reputation is ruined, and Nora is forced to re-evaluate everything about herself and therefore the society around her, eventually leading her decision to go away fromher husband and family.

In some ways, deceit is presented as a corrupting and corroding force within the people’s lives; however, in Nora’s case, it’s clear that the motivation for her dishonesty was love— she lied to save lots of her husband’s life. Furthermore, her actions wouldn’t have had to be deceitful if it weren’t for societal law dictating that ladies weren’t allowed to handle financial matters independently. Therefore, Nora’s deceit wasn’t there sults of a private flaw, but rather the sole means necessary of overcoming restrictions to commit a noble act.

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