Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 to a wealthy family, however, when he was just eight years old his family went bankrupt, and they lost their status in society. Ibsen knew how the issue of money could destroy a person’s reputation in no time at all. Perhaps that is how he makes the characters in his play, A Doll’s House , so believable. Nora and Mrs. Linde, the two main female characters in the play, have had the issues of money and forgery ruin their lives. Nora forged her dead father’s signature to get a loan. The play revolves around her struggle with her fear of being found out. Both women’s values change as the story moves along. At first, it appears that Nora values money and the status that it brings. Mrs. Linde values her own happiness, and eventually Nora realizes that the only way she will be able to live with what she has done is to do the same.
From the start of the play, we see that Nora’s entire focus is on money. “Won’t it be lovely to have stacks of money and not a care in the world” (703), Nora asks Mrs. Linde. Almost every conversation she has in the play is related to money in some way or another. When Torvald, her husband, asks her what she wants for Christmas, she tells him, “You could give me money, Torvald. . . . Then I could hang the bills in pretty glit paper on the Christmas tree. Wouldn’t that be fun” (699)? Her carefree way of handling money exasperates her husband. He wants to make her happy, but he isn’t able to give her what he doesn’t have. He doesn’t know about the loan, at first, and, to him and the audience, it appears that she is just throwing her money away hopelessly.
Mrs. Linde, on the other hand, knows what it is like to not have money to spare. She values money, but for an entire different purpose. The looks at it for what it is worth, and how it can help her survive. Her entire life she has had to work hard for anything that she wanted or needed. “Well, anyway,” she responded to Nora’s remark on having stacks of money, “it would be lovely enough to have enough for necessities” (703). To survive, she “had to scrape up living with a little shop and a little teaching and whatever else [she] could find” (704).
Thomas More and the Utopian Dream
More and the Utopian Dream
To some, it can be paradise, to someone else a heaven on earth, and still to others it can mean the Garden of Eden, the New Jerusalem, or even Biosphere 2. What we have come to know as “Utopia,” or, “Any idealized place, state, or situation of perfection; any visionary scheme or system for an ideally perfect society” (Neufeldt 1470), is just a name that was coined for us by Sir Thomas More for an eternal idea. There were centuries of utopian ideas before More came up with his idea for Utopia, but he has become the father of the word’s meaning. Some of the previous ideal ideas were sources of information for More’s book, just as More led the way for hundreds of other Utopias. Today Utopia is just another word in the dictionary, but it took years to develop it into what it is today.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. . . and it was very good” (Bib. Gen. Ch. 1, vs.1, 31). According to biblical doctrine, the earth was in a perfect state after God had created it. There was no sin, and the two inhabitants were pure in thought. The Garden of Eden is the first utopian state that we have on record. Ezekiel said that the Lord, Himself, called it “the Garden of God” (Ch. 28, vs. 13); God, being the supreme of all perfect, could only have a perfect garden. But even the most perfect things, it has been proved, can not be perfect forever; that is the way God planned it. There must be opposition in all things, so Satan was allowed to enter into the picture. First Eve, then Adam partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, a sin in the eyes of God. This was God’s plan though, and it led the way for the rest of the world.
A little further on in the Bible we find out about the ultima…
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…lliam, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Utopia. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
Neufeldt, Victoria, ed. Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English. New York: Simon