A Doll's House by Henrik IbsenLiterature

The Role of Extrasensory Perception in Nora’s Character in “A Doll’s House”

4 Mins read

The term Extrasensory Perception was coined by Sir Richard Burton within the early 18th century and later within the 1930s, adopted and popularized by Joseph Banks Rhine the psychologist of Duke University.

J.B. Rhine gave this idea in his book Extrasensory Perception and he introduced Parapsychology as a branch of Psychology. Extrasensory perception (ESP) or sixth sense might be defined as the ability to realize information by the means aside from the recognized senses like; sense of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Information gained by ESP might be about present, future, or past events, objects, or people.

Here, in this article, the character of Nora is examined to justify her having extrasensory perception within the play, “A Doll’s House”.

It might be stated that Nora additionally has an extrasensory perception that allows her to find out about what’s going to occur to her and in the house wherein she has been living. In the second act of the play, Nora appears to hold the sixth sense that enables her to see in the future, when she utters this: “Worse things might happen”. Nora has come to know concerning the future taking place which is, one thing bad is going to be occurred to her, before that truly occurred in her life. Here, she has Precognition (future sight) which is the kind of extrasensory perception (ESP) by which an individual is ready to see in the future. She got the understanding of her future life by which she must face miseries brought on by her husband.

Read About: Women Representation in “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen”

Another dialogue that makes this clear that she possesses future sight, when she asks the nurse of her children, Anna whether or not they asks about her:

Anna: “You see they have been so used to having their mamma with them.”

Nora: “Yes; but, Anna, I cannot have them so much with me in future.”

Through Nora’s dialogue, it’s apparent that she’s going to leave her home, that’s the reason she says that she won’t have her children in the future. Further, she asks Anna if she believes that her children would forget their mom if she went fairly away. Here, it’s evident that she has perceived by means of her sixth sense that she must leave her home because she thinks that she is living with strangers who couldn’t utterly perceive her. Furthermore, Nora’s heart has torn because the costume made by her husband, Torvald Helmer, got torn. Thus, it may be acknowledged that Nora by means of her future sight, is aware of what’s going to occur to her in the future before it actually occurs in future. As the play processes, we see that Nora leaves her home because she thinks that she had been living among the many strangers who couldn’t know her true self. She realizes that first, she had been her “papa’s doll-child” earlier than her marriage, and after her marriage, she had been her husband, Helmer’s “doll-wife”. She tells her husband that he has never cherished her, however pretended to be in love with her.

On the other hand, Nora sacrificed her every thing; her own rights for the sake of her husband and even, she saved his life out of her love for him by taking debt from Krogstad by means of making false signature of her father. But, within the patriarchal society through which she lives, “no man sacrifices his honor, even for one he loves”. Her action for saving her husband is thought to be a crime by the society and even by her husband. At the end of the play, her leaving home is definitely the rejection of the patriarchal social rules and laws. 

The function of Extra-sensory perception might be negative and positive as well. Negative impression in a way that it may be dangerous and damaging for somebody. In different words, it may well result in painful and depressing situations for an individual who has an extrasensory perception. Positive impression in the sense, it doesn’t have any demanding or ruinous results on the life of an individual.

Nora appears to be decided to take action what she perceived by means of extrasensory perception and doesn’t pay heed to the calamities attributable to her action of leaving home. Having an extrasensory perception, she is aware that she’s going to leave behind her children and husband. Here, the function of extrasensory perception might be optimistic and negative as well. If we take a look at this from the perceptive of Nora, it may be stated that the extrasensory perception in her impacts positively in her life. Nora needs to concentrate in the direction of her own rights that have been uncared first by her father and then by her husband, Helmer. We observe that she needs to be free from the cage of her husband because first she had been her father’s doll after which her husband’s doll. It appears that it’s the impression of the sixth sense that leads her to leave the home.

Here, it’s apparent that extrasensory perception performs essential function in her decision making. From the perceptive of her children, and beseeching husband, the extrasensory perception in Nora performs its negative function because they’ve been left behind to face their depressing life. 

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