‘A Doll’s House’ (Nora): “You neither think nor talk like the man I could bind myself to”

'A Doll's House' by Henrik Ibsen

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Nora is mid-to-late 20's and is the wife of Torvald

Gender: Female

Age Range: 20's

Summary: Nora finally opens up to her husband, Torvald

More: Buy the Play

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NORA: It is perfectly true, Torvald. When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls. And when I came to live with you…

I mean that I was simply transferred from papa’s hand into yours. You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as you – or else I pretended to, I am really not quite sure which – I think sometimes the one and sometimes the other. When I look back on it, it seems to me as if I had been living here like a poor woman – just from hand to mouth. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and papa have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life.

You neither think nor talk like the man I could bind myself to. As soon as your fear was over – and it was not fear for what threatened me, but for what might happen to you – when the whole things was past, as far as you were concerned it was exactly as if nothing at all had happened. Exactly as before, I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile. Torvald – it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children. Oh! I can’t bear to think of it! I could tear myself into little bits!

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