Story: A Dollhouse, Acts II & III Author: Henrik Ibsen Topic: What is Nora most “wonderful thing of all”? In what does Nora think that she and Torvald did not have her “most wonderful thing”? There are wonderful things that we all had to face in our lives. Some were for our own good and some was not. But through it all, we have learned from it. In acts II and III of “A Dollhouse”, the author, Henrik Ibsen, shows how Nora speaks several times of her “most wonderful thing of all”.
What is her “most wonderful thing” and what ways that Nora and Torvald did not have them “most wonderful thing”?
In Act Two the word wonderful is again repeated three times: NORA: “A wonderful thing is about to happen. MRS. LINDE: Wonderful? NORA: Yes, a wonderful thing. But also terrible, Christine, and it just can’t happen, not for all the world” (1903; II.
341-343). This means something terrible, which must not happen, not for the entire world. What does this word mean? In act II, the Christmas tree that Nora decorated now is stripped bare. The toys and presents have disappeared all the emblems of material happiness.
It is also in this act that Torvald tells Nora how he has the inner strength to take on whatever Krogstad may threaten; that Rank, “reveals the depth of his love for Nora” (1899; II. 220). Krogstad and Nora, in a deep and searching intimate dialogue share their contemplation to commit suicide.
Nora reveals the wonderful thing that is now about to happen. That wonderful is what she imagines will be the terrible but heroic inner drama where, to prevent Torvald from taking the blame for her crime, she will at last find the courage for suicide.
What ways that Nora and Torvald did not have her “most wonderful thing”? At the climax of the play in act III, when Torvald reads the first letter Krogstad sent, his reaction to this is inappropriate. Those sweet endearing pet names Torvald calls Nora turn into the opposite … “She who was my joy and pride, a hypocrite, a liar, worse, a criminal” (1913; III. 236). It is at this moment that Nora realizes that there is a problem between her and Torvald.
She confesses she is not fit to bring up her children and Torvald is the last person to teach or guide her how to, for he and her father have most encouraged her to live in fantasy; an inauthentic doll existence, “bearing three children with a stranger”(1919; III. 348). The marriage could only be regained if the wonderful were to happen. This time, the idea of the wonderful means an existential transformation of the human way of living in the world. The relationship with Torvald and Nora was not a healthy relationship.
Because Torvald thinks of his wife as a possession and as someone to keep up his appearance, Nora is unable to confide in him. Nora realizes this at the end of the play that Helmer does not love her as a person. I think in a way that this is a “wonderful thing of all” to Nora. This situation has open her eyes to see that she deserves better than Helmer and that she can do better by being independent. Works Cited Ibsen, Henrik. “A Dollhouse, Acts II & III”. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2007. 1874-1891.