All posts by Laura R.

Time

“Time is just common, it’s like water for a fish. Everybody’s in the water, nobody gets out of it, or if he does the same thing happens to him that happens to the fish, he dies.” (Part One, Chapter Two)

Giovanni’s take on what time is in his conversation with David is a reflection of David more than of other people.  The novel is made up heavily of David’s own memories,  the only other sections (for lack of a better word) seen so far are snippets of his own musings on them.   David himself is very aware of the connection that lies between him and Giovanni, and of the futility of any attempt to sever it.  This makes David the fish.  Just like his relationship with Joey, his encounter with Giovanni will always be an important part of his identity, like water is to the fish, for an individual is made up of his past experiences and the people surrounding him.

While Giovanni’s take on time defines it as eternal and static, while David defines time (or well, Giovanni defines “American time” for him) as progress. He tells him they define time:

“as though with enough time and all that fearful energy and virtue you people have, everything will be settled, solved, put in its place. And when I say everything I mean all the serious, dreadful things, like pain and death and love, in which you Americans do not believe.” (Part One, Chapter Two)

This take on time, however, is not reflective of David (even if it is of his values).

Little Songbird

In Act I of A Doll’s House, we are immediately forced to form an opinion of Miss Nora, and an unfavorable one at that.  Her husband Torvald repeatedly patronizes her using words such as “pretty little,” “spendthrift,” and various comparisons to birds (a trope pertaining to women found often in literature, suggesting that Nora is somehow caged).  Nora does nothing to change our initial impression of her, if not she worsens it in her lie to Mrs. Linde.  In speaking of her trip to Italy, Nora tells Mrs. Linde that she procured all of the funds for said trip by herself.  At first she attempts to tell the truth, she got a loan in secret despite the legal issues it could possibly bring, but in hearing her friend’s response she fabricates a lie.  This lie paints her in a better view in the reader’s eyes (Nora is a strong woman, working to keep her family), yet nevertheless, she is later outed to us by Krogstad.

In the reveal that she owes Krogstad the entire sum of money spent on the Italy trip, we learn why her husband comparing her to birds is not just a term of endearment (at least metaphorically).  Nora is in debt and, putting it bluntly, she is being blackmailed by this man.  There is no clear way for her recover from this, especially with her husband refusing to listen to her forced pleas about allowing Krogstad to keep his position at the Bank.