A Comparison of Mrs. Alving and Nora Helmer

879 Words Jun 9th, 2006 4 Pages
Henrick Ibsen was a phenomenal playwright that wrote of two very unique women. Not only are they great characters, they are women characters set in a 19th century time period. These two ladies are Nora Helmer from A Doll 's House, and Mrs. Alving from "Ghosts." Ibsen 's goals were to make the public aware of the discrimination against women and to question the morality of the middle class. Both of these protagonists have similarities as leading roles, but there are also quite a bit of differences in their characters. Both Helmer and Alving live in the middle class society level. They have (or in Alving 's case, had) wealthy husbands who treated them in an inferior manner. Both women are expected to stay home and watch over the children …show more content…
This is a very large task for Helmer to both keep track of and hide from her husband. Secondly, there is a difference between their relationships with the family. Helmer has learned to love the man she married. She grows to care for him and wants the best for him. This is shown when she admits the truth by saying, "It was I who saved Torvald 's life…It was I who procured the money (Ibsen, 12)." In contrast, Alving would not have done that for her husband. In fact, she feels miserable every year of her marriage with him. This is proven by her companion, Mr. Manders, stating, "It makes my brain reel. To think that your marriage-all the years of wedded life you spent with your husband-were nothing but a hidden abyss of misery (Ibsen, 91)." Alving had a very disloyal husband. Both of the mothers also love their children. It is just that their relationships with them are different. Helmer has her three children with her and plays with them all of the time. While on the other hand, Alving protects her boy from his father by sending him away at the age of seven. Once he returns, there is hardly a stable relationship to stand on. Finally, both women show a similar need. Both Helmer and Alving have the need to learn and educate themselves. Alving 's house is filled with books. " 'Tell me, Mrs. Alving, what are these books doing here? ' "These books? I am reading them…I think it makes me, as it