Similarities of Torvald Helmer and Father Flynn
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House and John Shanley’s Doubt focus on controversial issues that most of the audience has trouble finding answers to. The themes of A Doll House, the rise of feminism and a trapped feeling in the lack of individualism, and the themes of Doubt, ambiguity and uncertainty in the alarming investigation of a Catholic priest, exemplify the troubles and worries of two very important characters. These disputed problems in the plays revolve around the main male characters in the plays, Torvald Helmer in A Doll House and Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt. Both these men have strong personalities and powerful opinions setting them apart from the many other characters. The plays involve some deeply disturbing occurrences, and an examination of these events result in a better understanding of what these men have in common. Despite their separate lives and contrasting misconducts, Torvald Helmer and Father Flynn are more alike than different in their views of women, their convictions, and their lack of remorsefulness.
Throughout A Doll House, the way in which Torvald Helmer views and speaks to his wife Nora is negative and derogatory, contrary to how he tells her how much he loves her. Torvald is extremely rude to her, supposedly his beloved, and thinks nothing of his actions. He has an incredible number of pet names for Nora, including “squirrel”, “little lark”, “spendthrift”, and “sweet tooth” (Ibsen 794 -830). He uses these names almost every time he speaks to her, as if she is his little pet in his very businesslike household. In a particular part in one of their meaningless conversations, Torvald treats her like a child and says, “Don’t deny it, my dear little Nora. Spendthrifts are sweet, but they use up a frightful amount of money. It’s incredible what it costs a man to feed some birds.” Nora responds by saying, “Oh, how can you...