Henrik Ibsen’s short story, A Doll’s House, basically centralizes on the differences between the initial appearances and the true personalities of the characters and the many sacrifices that women make in a marriage. The author evidently illustrated the first theme through all story’s main characters as each of them exhibited a personality that is different from the initial impression they gave when they first appeared. For example, Torvald, at first, appears to be a caring and devoted husband to Nora, the protagonist.
However, at the end of the story, it turns out that he is a very shallow man who only cares about his own career and that he never desired to fulfill his promise to share with Nora the burdens of their marriage. In addition, Dr. Rank’s frequent visits to Nora and Torvald appeared to be a gesture of friendship towards the couple. But late in the story it was discovered that his true motives for visiting them was because he is in love with Nora. Moreover, Krogstad initially appeared to be a vengeful and manipulative extortionist until he was reunited with his love, Mrs. Linde, wherein he showed that he has a kind and generous heart.
More importantly, Nora initially gave an impression that she was a selfish and foolish girl. However, it is soon discovered that Nora made a large sacrifice by secretly borrowing money in order to maintain their marriage. From the themes presented in the story, it can said that people are not always what they first appear to be. The story also showed that people can show their true colors when you least expect them to do so.
Moreover, the story basically highlights the reality that wives in today’s modern society, play a sacrificial and major role in a marriage, which is normally dominated by the husband. This was best illustrated by the marriage of Nora and Torvald, in which the latter refused to accept the fact that it was Nora who saved their marriage by secretly borrowing money when in fact it was his role as a husband to do so. In other words, the roles of women have evolved over the past years and they are no longer dominated by men.