The Theme of Marriage from A Doll’s House
The play A Doll’s House features marriage as one of its theme. It talks about the ups and downs of marital life and how it fails in the case of the couple Nora and Torvald. There are elements of marriage that they failed to meet which ended up to their relationship’s failure. They had marital problems that they weren’t able to manage. The theme of marriage in the play is one great issue to discuss because it focuses on what needs to be added for true love to last.
In order to keep a marriage sacred and long, there are four distinct qualities to hold. These include trust and loyalty, love, communication and perseverance. In the case of the Helmer couple, they failed to meet up the requirements because balance was not obtained. Love on the other hand should not only be the center of the relationship. It goes along with respect.
Another possible reason for the marital failure of Nora and Torvald is the lack of respect. He game her nicknames of “spendthrift”, “squirrel” and “skylark” that are really unacceptable for a man like him. Torvald always treats him just like a child. Another proof that he lacks love for Nora is in his way of managing their house. Though their house is first owned by Nora’s domineering father before they marriage, the title was then handed to Torvald when they got married. He began manipulating Nora’s life according to his will and liking. Such lack of love along with manipulation and disrespect eventually ruined their marriage. The only love giver in their marriage is Nora alone. She showed love amidst her husband’s imperfections. She goes against all odds and acted like a doll in their house. She made the necessary sacrifices and even forged her father’s signature to give Torvald all the credits. In spite all of these, the marriage failed in the end because one sided love is not enough to sustain the marriage.
Poor communication in marriage was also discussed as a sub-theme in the play. Marriage without communication is impossible. Torvald’s stubbornness in the play made him loose money. Sooner he asked help from his unintelligent doll Nora to look for money and support his vice. It was the only time that the two of them had a serious talk which made their entire marriage extremely poor. Truly, lack of communication will bring couple to a dead end. Too much secrecy from both sides will lead to bad events in their marriage.
Lack of communication also means lack of trust. Marriage without trust is really impossible. In the case of Torvald, he had nearly no trust in Nora. He always tagged her as a spendthrift. He checks his wife form time to time about expenses. From here trust is already lacking because he is not confident on how his wife spends their money. Loyalty comes along with trust and it should be possessed by both husband and wife at all times.
A load is easier to carry if two people are holding it. The burdens of marriage will be lesser if both husband and wife settles whatever problem comes along. In the case that one falls, it is the responsibility of the other to help and join in distress. In the case of Nora and Thorvald, only the husband does the problem solving. Even Nora’s problem was settled by him. He is not doing this for the sake of love but for the advantage of dominating the relationship. Hence, dominating the relationship will continuously weaken it. No perseverance is seen in the couple because Torvald lacked the necessary trust and love for her.
Marriage is sacred but Nora crossed the line and persevered towards her freedom. This way she can do things and decide for herself. She will not stay in the doll’s house forever. Torvald’s imperious control on their family life destroyed the beautiful marriage that they suppose to have. The line till death do us part in marriage is not visibly seen in the play. Yet it gave moral lessons that need to be cherished in order for a true love and sacred marriage to succeed.