Decision making is a day to day exercise. At the end of the day, whether people make the right or the wrong decisions, they have to accept the consequences of their choices. The acceptance of the impacts of the decisions human beings makes ensures that they are responsible for choice making. The central concentration of this paper in this regard is to judge whether Nora made the right or the wrong choice while finding the justification of this papers viewpoint in the plot and dialogues.
Nora’s decision to leave her husband and their three children cannot be considered to be impetuous but predetermined. This is evidently viewed when she utters to her maid Anna before her decision to leave her marital home, “. . . I can’t have them so much with me in the future.” According to Nora, her decision was informed by the fact that she feels misunderstood by her husband Mr. Helmer. On the other hand, Nora also does not seem to understand him as envisaged in his utterances, “you don’t understand me, and I have never understood you-till to-night.” As much as her sentiments might be right, it is blindingly obvious that she is self-centered and unforgiving. For instance, after her husband discovers that she had borrowed money from Mr. Krogstand, he decides to forgive her and allows her to live in the house. However, the same is not seen when she accuses her husband of not being understanding. She remains adamant and unforgiving. According to her, “when a wife leaves her husband’s house . . . in the eyes of the law he is free from all duties. . .”
The accusation Nora is leveling against her husband of not being understanding is misplaced. For instance, it is a fact that Nora is a spendthrift and a congenital liar. Nonetheless, more often than not we see her husband tolerating her actions. For example, when her husband asks her if she has not, “even taken a bit at a macaroon or two. . .” she denies vehemently. Moreover, she overspends on her shopping then again; Mr. Helmer appears to be understanding. Mr. Helmer tolerating is well illustrated in his rhetoric question, “has my little spendthrift been wasting money again?”
Nora appears to be a schemer. She has been scheming behind her husband’s back. For instance, she has been bringing macaroons in the house even after the doctor advised them not to do so. Also, while she talks to her friend Mrs. Landen she suggests that she got the money used for her husband’s treatment from, “some other admirer.” This reeks of infidelity indicate a behavior which is unpalatable in the society. Also, she goes on signing a document on behalf of her father without his consent.
Also, Nora is viewed as being unfair. For instance, it is clear that she borrowed money from Mr. Kregstad, to cater to her husband’s treatment in Italy. However, she demands her husband to have “come forward, and taken everything upon . . .” himself. by saying he is the “guilty one.” She also appears to be insensitive towards her husband’s feelings when she blatantly says, “I don’t love you any longer.”
As much as we see Nora having negative traits, her affection for her husband is evident. For instance, when her husband became sick, she went to the extent of borrowing money from Mr. Krogstad. Her undivided love for her husband is also seen when she decides to take care of her ailing husband despite the fact that her father was ailing too.
On the other hand, Mr. Helmer appears to be hardworking since he supports his family by providing the basic needs. He also loves to his wife Nora who she fondly calls “my little lark.” His love for his wife is further demonstrated when she accepts to bury the hatchet after discovering the letter written by Mr. Krogstad. Additionally, he allows his wife to remain in their house amid the discovery. Even though his wife accuses him of not being understanding, his actions prove otherwise. For instance, he is aware of his wife being a “spendthrift”, but he tolerates her. Moreover, even when her wife lies under his nose, he seems to tolerate her lies.
In conclusion, it is fair enough to say that there is a lack of mutual understanding between Mr. and Mrs. Helmer. That notwithstanding, it behooves them to give dialogue a chance in trying to solve their differences. It is evident that Mr. Helmer perceives Nora as a child as he articulates that, “she thinks and talks like a child.” This kind of an utterance is not palatable in marriage or anywhere else whatsoever. On the other hand, Nora should practice tolerance and forgiveness. As much as she could be having valid reasons to walk away, it is incumbent upon her to act objectively rather than subjectively. In my view, Nora’s decision even though made on logical grounds, it was precipitous, ill-judged and hence the wrong decision.