The Mask Of Marriage

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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The Mask of Marriage "A Doll's House" is a short play written by Henrik Ibsen. This play forces the central characters, Nora and Torvald, to look at themselves and the role they have played in their relationships with a different perspective. The play reveals that sometimes people live their whole lives thinking that they have found themselves only to realize that they were imposters.

Nora's illusion of herself is found in passages in which not only does she sees herself not as a person (as a person would be considered in a man's world), but as a toy or pet. Nora is seen hopping around in playful manner and in agreement with Torvald as he refers to her as a "lark" or a "squirrel" (Ibsen 968). Nora plays the part of the dutiful wife throughout most of the play in which she shops for the gifts for Christmas and boasts to Mrs. Linde about the accomplishments of her husband.

Nora further displays her insignificance when, referring to husband she tells Krogstad "I don't have any influence -- none at all". Her entire life is carried much like the "Capri"¦fisher girl"¦dancing the tarantella" (Ibsen 990) an girl from modest heritage whirling and spinning here and there as to show a fun and loving outlook.

Torvald's priority of things looking well to those who are looking is quite evident throughout almost all of his conversations. In Torvald's conversation with Nora regarding Krogstad he ironically states "putting on a mask before everbody he's close to, even his own wife and children" (Ibsen 988). Torvalds' comments to Mrs. Linde about her need to give up knitting for embroidery shows his desire for the prettier of the two crafts, not the most efficient. He further demonstrates his concern for appearances when asking Nora "couldn't...



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