Nora Helmer is a delicate, pampered wife who was spoiled by her wealthy father and later by Torvald.As Ibsen alludes, Nora is the doll of this dollhouse, as her role is to bend into the shape of the ideal housewife.If it is dancing for her husband, completing the family shopping, or playing childish games to attract Helmer’s attention, Nora will do what it takes to fit the roles. As readers, we soon read that beneath the blank smile of this doll lies a web of lies, deception, and debt.Nora lives a life separated from the glittering housewife of Torvald Helmer.Nora is possible of her own triumphs and tragedies, independent of the life and decisions of her husband.Using creative symbolic animal imagery, Ibsen develops a deeper understanding of Nora’s character, allowing her the capability to deceive and strike a blow for independence of women.
Helmer’sfirst spoken phrase comes from the study off-stage: “Is that my little lark twittering out there?” (346) He refers to Nora as a lark, a lighthearted, cheerful, petite songbird found in Eurasia.Helmer is most probably attempting to make the similarity with the characteristics between the bird and his wife.The name also gives a basic meaning of Nora’s actions during this situation, as when hefirst calls her his “little lark” Nora is scurrying around the room humming.This little lark name also suggests Nora’s childlike attitude, and Helmer’s desire to promote her childish behavior.It illustrates Helmer’s desire to cling to his false reality of a happy, simple housewife.
What is even more intriguing is the physical characteristics of the bird in relationship to Nora. All larks have white outer tail feathers with their black tail, a black band across their upper head, a black line encircling the crown, and a black “mask” across the eyes.A mask is defined as a “face covering that, in ritual and theater, disguises the wearer and usually communicates an alternate ide…