IB Lang and Lit SL Y2
My Written Task is
based on the 19th century play “A Doll’s House,” written by Henrik Ibsen. For
my part 3 (literature – texts and contexts) written task I have decided to
write a letter from Nora to Torvald as it gives me an opportunity to write how
a woman who has been restricted with four walls of her house can gain identity
and individuality by leaving her sexist husband and a society that is based on
the strict Victorian standards.
The focus of this WT
deals with changes that have come in Nora’s life ever since she left Torvald.
Through this letter I (Nora) wrote to Torvald about how he had not been fit to
be Nora’s husband. This type of personal letter is important as it not only
gives a chance for Nora to vent up her latent feelings, but it also serves as a
realization to Torvald that a woman too has a voice and existence. This letter
will help Torvald understand how he suffocated a woman under his sexist and
masochistic views, and forced her to rebel against society.
The context of this WT is that Nora left her home
and children in an impulsive way. The audience is Torvald alone as it is a personal
letter. The purpose of this task is to tell Torvald that Nora has been
successful in finding a new identity. She is neither a doll nor a subservient
woman; she is now a working woman who equates herself on equal footing with
men. I will be addressing the following learning outcome, “Understand the
attitudes and values expressed by “A Doll’s House” and its impact on readers.”
Word count: 275 words
25, White Square
January 25th, 1883
Gustav Vigeland Road
It has been almost two years since left you, and
ever since then my life has been a struggle for survival. Though, the world is
bigger than just Norway, so I came to London in order to achieve my dreams. In
my childhood I read about London and the wave of feminism rising here, and
after leaving your house I felt that London would be the best destination for
I was right. I found that London provided women
with a lot of opportunities to become self-reliant and independent. I started
working at a café and also took night classes to learn the English language. It was then that I realized that women in the modern world
need to change. The first thing they can do to change their condition is by
I am staying at a workingwomen’s hostel and in the
company of other women. They have helped me realize that my life with you was
meaningless. Today I have a life that has meaning and a purpose. I am working
for an NGO that promotes equality among men and women in the 19th
My life has not been easy. How I missed my children
after leaving our home! But I moulded myself into a woman with nerves of steel
and muscles of iron. My metamorphosis did take time, but today I feel like I
made the right decision.
I often feel nostalgic, and the loom of time starts circling
before my eyes. I remember how happy I was when I found that I could be of help
to you by doing work secretly. Even today my words to Kristine resonate in my ears,
“I was lucky enough to get a lot of
copying to do; so, I locked myself up and sat writing every evening until quite
late at night. Many a time I was desperately tired; but all the same it was a
tremendous pleasure to sit there working and earning money. It was like being a
man.” Yes. I felt like a man; like your equal. But I was highly mistaken
about my worth in your eyes, which were blinded by the Victorian social and
cultural values that dictated the code of conduct for a woman.
Regardless, I try to forget and forgive you. Though, the
words you used for me, “a doll,” a “skylark,” and “a squirrel” fill me with anger.
Not only did you dehumanize me, but you also used me as a puppet. Seducing me
with your sweetened words, “…all that beauty that
is mine, all my very own,” “What, am I not your husband?” Not only
this, you used to address me in third person!
Your words “Yes, take a good look at her –
Isn’t she charming… But she is terribly self-willed, this sweet little
person. What are we to do with her?” still resonate in my eardrums, and I feel
know, I always hoped for a miracle to happen. I had hopes that you would be proud
of me when you came to know of my little secret. But it was all my imagination
that had taken me too far from reality. I always considered you my other half, but
you treated me as if I was a child, as if I was your daughter.
What broke my heart is that instead of appreciating my
efforts you disgraced me and compared me to my father, which is not appropriate
at all. You shouted at me, “Very like
your father. You always find some new way of wheedling money out of me, and, as
soon as you have got it, it seems to melt in your hands. You never know where
it has gone. Still, one must take you as you are. It is in the blood.” Was
this the reward of working day and night in the dark room, earning every penny
to repay the loan I had taken when you were sick?
It is very deplorable that you called my noble intentions
nothing but forgery. How you blurted, “What
a horrible awakening! All these eight years—she who was my joy and pride—a
Hypocrite, a liar—worse, worse—a criminal! The unutterable Ugliness of it all!
—For shame! For shame!” But what was shameful in your eyes was justifiable
in my heart. I did everything with a noble and honourable purpose.
Yes, I forged the signature of my father. But it was only to
get the loan and take you abroad for convalescing. On one hand you called me
words, and on the other Krogstad blackmailed me by threating to expose me. In
fact, he even frightened me by talking about committing suicide, “Under the
ice, perhaps? Down in the cold, coal-black water? And then, in the spring, to float
up to the surface, all horrible and unrecognizable, with your hair fallen out-”
and I renounced the notion of
ending my life by jumping into a river.
life in your home was like a puppet’s. I had no freedom, no identity. You
forced the Tarantella on me and ordered me to practice it vigorously as it gave
you pleasure. You would order me to practice saying, “I shall hear nothing; you can make as much noise as you
please.” Are you scared
of seeing the real me?
There is no end to my grievances, but I am not
writing the letter to recount my miseries. Instead I wish to inform you that
every cloud has a silver lining. I am a changed person now, self-reliant, independent
and free. I love my children, and I will come to them when I am in a position
to bring them up on my own. As far as you are concerned, I would like to thank
you for making me realize the problems with society and gender roles in this
Word count: 996 words
Ibsen, Henrik, and Peter
Watts. A Doll’s House. Penguin, 2003.