The Play “A Doll’s House,” by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll’s House is a play by Henrik Ibsen that was first performed in 1879. The play is significant for its criticism of 19th-century marriage norms. It caused a sensation at the time, and was controversial for its frank examination of a woman’s life within a male-dominated society. A Doll’s House is still widely read and studied today.

In many literary works, there are characters that represent both similarities and differences. In Henrik Ibsen’s Play “A Doll’s House,” two of the characters have numerous congruencies and clashes. These women are known as Nora Helmer and Mrs. Linde. Ibsen characterizes these women by detailing their comparable and contrasting personalities.

Nora Helmer is a homemaker married to Torvald Helmer. Nora has three children and takes care of the house. Ibsen describes her as being childish and naïve. For example, when she is talking to Mrs. Linde about how she got the money to go on their trip, she says “I’ve been saving up ever since Christmas; didn’t you know that? And then I had some money left over from last year” (Ibsen 1094). This shows that Nora is not good with keeping secrets and also is not very bright. On the other hand, Mrs. Linde is a widow with no children.

She supports herself by working. In the play, Ibsen describes her as being wise and level-headed. A good example of this is when she is talking to Nora about how she should handle her problem. She says, “First of all, you mustn’t despair… Secondly, you must make up your mind to help yourself out of your difficulty” (Ibsen 1095). This again shows how Mrs. Linde is smarter and more responsible than Nora.

Nora and Mrs. Linde also have different relationships with their husbands. Nora is married to Torvald Helmer and Mrs. Linde was married to Mr. Linde. Torvald is a very controlling husband who does not let Nora make any decisions for herself. For instance, when Nora is trying to convince Torvald to let her go to Mrs. Linde’s, he says “No, Nora, you shall not go out today… You are not well enough” (Ibsen 1096).

This shows that Torvald does not want Nora to leave the house and that he does not think she is capable of taking care of herself. On the other hand, Mrs. Linde’s husband was very different from Torvald. Mr. Linde was sick for a long time and Mrs. Linde had to take care of him. during this time, she did not have any help from her husband and had to do everything by herself. This shows that Mrs. Linde is more independent than Nora.

Throughout the play, Nora and Mrs. Linde go through many changes. When the play starts, Nora is very childlike and dependent on her husband. However, by the end of the play, she has realized that she is not happy in her marriage and that she needs to be independent. Mrs. Linde also goes through a change during the course of the play. At first, she is very poor and desperate for a job. However, by the end of the play, she has gotten a job and is doing better financially.

Both Nora and Mrs. Linde are powerful women with a fragile exterior. Nora has been pampered her whole life and is seen as a delicate woman who has been neglected. The role of authority figures in her life has been taken by the males in her family, including her father and husband. She is used to depending on men to back and pamper her, which makes her seem happy on the surface.

Nora is a victim of her circumstance. A woman in the 1800s had no voice or power. Society expects a woman to be seen and not heard, as well as being completely devoted to their husband and children. A woman that did not fit this mold was considered an outcast.

Mrs. Linde is the complete opposite of Nora. She has worked hard her entire life to support herself and her family. Mrs. Linde does not have time for frivolities; she is a serious woman that takes care of business. When she finally meets a man that can provide her with the stability she craves, she jumps at the opportunity.

While both women are different, they share one common goal: they want to be happy. Nora is unhappy with her life, even though she has everything she could ever want. She is suffocating in her marriage and feels like a caged bird. Nora longs to be free and independent. Mrs. Linde is also unhappy, but for different reasons. She has spent her life taking care of others and has never had the chance to live for herself. When she meets Mr. Krogstad, she finally has the opportunity to have a stable life with someone that loves and respects her.

The want for independence is also characteristic of the characters. While Nora was able to “save her husband’s life” by transporting him to the south, Mrs. Linde had to take on household responsibilities after her husband died. Although they both appeared to be significantly weak on the outside, when compared with their husbands, they were actually more powerful inside.

Nora and Mrs. Linde also shared the same goal, which was to be financially independent from their husbands. Nora wanted to get a job so she could have her own money, and Mrs. Linde needed to find a job to support herself and her son. They were both willing to do whatever it took to achieve their goals, even if it meant leaving their families behind.

While there are many similarities between Nora and Mrs. Linde, there are also some differences. One of the biggest differences is that Nora had the opportunity to leave her family, while Mrs. Linde did not. Nora chose to leave because she felt stifled by her domestic duties and she wanted to explore the world outside of her home. Mrs. Linde, on the other hand, only left her family because she had no choice; she needed to find a job to support herself and her son.

Nora is also different from Mrs. Linde in that she is more confident and assertive. Nora is not afraid to stand up for herself, even against her husband. Mrs. Linde, on the other hand, is more meek and submissive. She lets her husband control her and she does not speak up for herself very often.

Despite their differences, Nora and Mrs. Linde are both strong women who are fighting for their independence. They are both willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, even if it means leaving their families behind.

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