Torvald Helmer’s character is that of a typical nineteenth century in-between category male. He offers his household fiscal support and is a respectable member of society. Unfortunately. it is this and his inability to see past himself and society which makes Helmer a tragic character in ‘A Doll’s House. ’
Helmer is a tragic character because of his inability to understand the true construct of love and matrimony. Throughout the drama different types of love are shown through all of the characters ; nevertheless it is clear that Nora and Torvald Helmer’s love isn’t the type of love that ‘real’ matrimonies are based on ; their love is illusory.
Nora herself remarks that “being with Torvald is a small like being with dad. ” proposing that the relationship is more child-wife instead than married woman. the equal. However. in Act Three where Nora eventually realises the truth about her matrimony. it is Helmer who becomes the kid as he doesn’t to the full gain that his matrimony was ne’er existent and neither was his love for Nora.
as Nora points out “you merely thought it was fun to be in love with me. ” It is besides tragic that upon hearing and forgiving Nora of her ‘crime’ . Helmer doesn’t realise that he isn’t being the ideal hubby when he claims that “she has become his belongings in a dual sense…not merely his married woman but besides his kid. ”
Ibsen implies that Helmer is incapable of understanding love and matrimony based on equality. Helmer is besides unable to see past society’s positions. Although Ibsen has set the drama in the Helmer’s life room. the thought of “what will society think” is changeless throughout the drama. particularly where Helmer is concerned. Helmer is perceived as a tragic character because he is obsessed with repute and fright of unfavorable public sentiment. so much so that the matrimony being a ‘sham’ becomes evident to Nora. Helmer says “I am condemned to humiliation and ruin. merely for the failing of a adult female. ” and “you have destroyed my felicity. ” Helmer’s “self-contained. self-obsessed perceptual experience of the world” makes him extremely tragic. In consequence. Helmer has ruined his ain matrimony. and. of more concern to him. repute because of his compulsion.
‘A Doll’s House’ doesn’t merely concentrate on adult females being trapped by traditional gender functions. Helmer’s character is made more tragic by the fact that he himself is imprisoned in a traditional male function. more so because of his compulsion with repute and his inability to understand the construct of an ‘equal marriage’ . Helmer. in equity. has played his portion as ‘the male’ absolutely. as he says to Nora “you whom I have carried on my custodies through all the twelvemonth of our matrimony. Helmer has been the perfect fiscal supplier except for when Nora had to borrow money.
However. alternatively of taking Nora’s act as one of love. he sees it as a offense and merely cares about the consequence it will hold on his life. Helmer is trapped by his gender function and his repute. as Nora says to Mrs Linde “how painful and mortifying it would be for Torvald. with all his manful independency. to cognize that he owed me anything. ” Helmer. upon forgiving Nora. says “I would non be a true adult male if your feminine weakness did non do you double attractive. ” Helmer is speedy to feign to seek and “be a true man” because that is what society expects of him. but in world Helmer is a selfish coward and Helmer’s character is seen as double tragic. because deep down Nora knows it excessively. even if he himself doesn’t.
However. the most tragic suggestion around Helmer’s character is that Ibsen implies that there is no hope for him to alter ; he is wholly caged by society. Ibsen starts to stop Act three with “a hope strikes him. ” connoting that Helmer could alter. Nora’s conversation with Helmer in Act Three suggested that because they were married they were unable to gain who they were as persons. so couldn’t dainty each other as peers. and that with Nora go forthing the two could larn to be first and first persons and so peers. However. conclusiveness is given with “the street door is slammed unopen downstairs. ” proposing that though Nora has left and Helmer could alter. he won’t ; he is excessively trapped by societal convention. gender functions and repute.
In decision. Helmer is tragic as a character foremost because of his inability to understand true love and matrimony and to see past society to himself. Without gaining these thoughts. Helmer can’t alteration so he is trapped by societal convention and his gender function. Finally. his calamity is made definite with the street door shutting. Helmer’s place should be his shelter. but for him. it ends up being a prison.
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