A Doll's House : Minor Characters
"The supporting characters are important in themselves because they face the same type of problems "(Urban "Parallels"). Minor characters do a fantastic job of dropping hints to the major themes at the end of any play. Nora's father, Mrs. Linde's husband, Nora's children, Krogstad's children, and Anne Marie, the minor characters in A Doll's House, play their roles perfectly in supporting and shadowing the main characters and themes of the play. The first minor character who comes along in the story is Nora's father. The role of Nora's father is to support who Nora supposedly is as a person. For example, Nora seems to let money, "slip through [her] fingers Just like [her] father," according to …show more content…
Men are treating their wives as if they are empty-headed birds. William Urban suggests that perhaps: Both Mrs. Linde and Nora chose the men they married by an intellectual rather than an emotional process
Mrs. Linde chose to marry her husband to provide economic security for both her mother and her two younger brothers. Then Nora chose to marry her husband at the time when her father could very well have been prosecuted for illegal business transactions. It may have been to influence Torvald to not prosecute her father. If that is true, there there is reason to doubt that she was ever as empty-headed as a doll as she claimed she was. (Urban "Parallels")
If Nora did marry her husband to save her father than their marriage has been and is a lie. Torvald comments that it is, " punishment for turning a blind eye to him. It was for your sake I did it, and this is what I get for it," (Ibsen 321). Torvald suggests in that statement that he married her to keep her safe. The basis of their relationship is a lie just as was Mrs. Linde's marriage to Mr. Linde when she chose to marry him for the money. The third set of minor characters that is encountered in the play are Nora's children. The behavior Nora uses when she interacts with her children shows why it is semi-easy for Nora to leave her children behind. Her
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Nora is introduced as a housewife who believes the true meaning of marriage revolving around obedience. She demonstrates the true definition of a respectful daughter, a faithful and obedient wife, and a dependable mother. It wasn’t unusual for Torvald to throw his weight around towards Nora. He attempts to limit her macaroon intake “Hasn’t nibbled some pastry,” (Ibsen 788) she replies, “You know I could never think of going against you” (Ibsen 788). In the eyes of Nora, he is considered a confident, powerful, and successful businessman since he is receiving a promotion as a bank manager after the New Year. Torvald’s sense of marriage can be summed up that he is the king of the castle “This is the way it should be my darling Nora. What-ever comes, you’ll see: when it really counts, I have strength and courage enough as a man to take the whole weight myself” (Ibsen 814). Torvald’s view is she is just a “doll” in his doll house. To him, it was important to stress there was no such thing as equality in their partnership, he
A Doll’s House is an example of a literacy work with numeral possible themes. The idea of the play is an expression of the need for women to escape from the confinement and restriction that they faced in nineteenth-century European society, it is supported by the condescending manner in which Torvald treats Nora and by his frequent references to the respective value of men and women. Another theme is in order for a marriage to be successful, the people involved should know and trust each other, show view each other as equals, and should have separate identities. Related to this idea is the theme that
Although Nora is secretive about the crime she committed, which is forging her father’s name in order to borrow money; she does it to save her husband. During Act I when Nora is speaking to Mrs. Linde about someday revealing to Torvald about the secret loan Nora exclaims: “One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him.” (Act I, pg. 12). This quotation shows that even early on in the play Nora understands the reality of her marriage, and her existence to Torvald. Therefore, Act I is merely an introduction to the overall overarching theme of independence. Act I shows the obedient side of Nora, until later scenes when she reveals her independence. Torvald attempts to oppress his wife, but his actions do not stop Nora’s independent thoughts from forming.
While Mrs. Wright lashes out against her perceived cage, her gender role, by killing Mr. Wright, Nora’s character ultimately decides to trip the latch, to fly free from the bars. Nora’s complex personality proves to be difficult to predict to the very end, when she decides to shirk her duties to her husband and children to focus on herself, to serve her own needs for individuality, a decision that was not entirely popular with readers and audiences alike. Indeed, Nora quite easily refuses to be the “doll” in Torvald’s house, and abandons her loving, though misguided husband, and her children. She feels driven to do this once she realizes that she and Torvald had never exchanged a serious word in
Henrik Ibsen creates many interesting and complex characters in his play A Doll’s House. Both the Helmers and Christine and Krogstad have very fascinating relationships. Nora and Torvald have a very insubstantial relationship in which Nora has no say or independence and is completely under Torvald’s control. Christine and Krogstad have their share of issues but they are able to work them out like reasonable adults. Nora/Torvald and Christine/Krogstad are two fundamentally different sets of people.
Each time Nora finds herself unable to help herself the problem is easily directly traced back to her husband, her father, and to the overbearing dominance of the male society. She tries to save the life of the man she thinks she loves and in doing so sees how she has become a victim of her own ignorance which has been brought upon her by the men in her life.
Nora plays the part of a slave in her subservience to her husband, for she is supposed to
The enforcement of specific gender roles by societal standards in 19th century married life proved to be suffocating. Women were objects to perform those duties for which their gender was thought to have been created: to remain complacent, readily accept any chore and complete it “gracefully” (Ibsen 213). Contrarily, men were the absolute monarchs over their respective homes and all that dwelled within. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, Nora is subjected to moral degradation through her familial role, the consistent patronization of her husband and her own assumed subordinance. Ibsen belittles the role of the housewife through means of stage direction, diminutive pet names and through Nora’s interaction with her morally ultimate
A doll house is based on Nora understanding how she feels about her relationship with her husband Torvald. The play opens up with Nora arriving home from Christmas shopping, excited to show her husband what she has purchased. Torvald will be getting a promotion at his bank so Nora feels that she gets to splurge a little on gifts. Torvald calls Nora a child, spendthrift, and a lark for her actions on spending a lot of money. Torvald teases Nora and compares her to her father by saying the following:
Her first instinct is to feel pity for Mrs. Linde’s lack of children or husband, classifying her “utterly alone” state as “terribly sad” and inferior to the life she has with Torvald (Ibsen 8). This all changes, however, once Nora agrees to help Mrs. Linde. By binding herself to a woman instead of a man for the first time, she reaches a further state of awareness. When Mrs. Linde mentions Nora’s “lack of trouble and hardship” and calls her a child, Nora becomes defensive, alluding to her displeasure with her position in society (Ibsen 12). “You’re just like the rest of them,” she claims, “you all think I’m useless when it comes to anything really serious...” (Ibsen 12). The “them” and “you all” in Nora’s pivotal statement refers to the men who have bound Nora to the state of a useless doll in a dollhouse: dependent, incapable, and unenlightened—merely nice to play with and pretty to look at.
Later in the play things start getting complicated for Nora. Her husband Torvald had become Mr. Krogstad boss at work, and Torvald wanted to fire Mr. Krogstad. This is when Mr. Krogstad starts to blackmail Nora. He wants Nora to stop Torvald from firing him. If she does not, Mr. Krogstad was going to tell Torvald her secret. This should have been the perfect time for Nora to tell the truth to her husband, but she believed that telling Torvald the truth will ruin their relationship. Nora says to her friend Mrs. Linde “Torvald, with all his masculine pride – how painfully humiliating for him if he ever found out he was in debt to me. That would ruin our relationship. Our beautiful, happy home would never be the same” (Iben 802)
Here, Nora pulls together the tragic circumstances. She sees that she was never truly happy in the house, just content. Her father kept her as a child would a doll, and Torvald continued this when they were married. They formed her opinions for her, set expectations to which she was supposed to adhere, and wrote a vague script of how she was supposed to act. She was like a puppet, with no thoughts or actions of her own. When she finally realizes the injustice being done to her, she decides to free herself.
A Doll’s House uses literary devices throughout its entire three acts to tell a story about not only marriage, but the hardships that happen in life. Not only is Nora and Helmer affected in this play, but everyone else is also affected in the play as well. A Doll’s House tells the story of a simple family that lives a life that many people do today. This play illustrates how a once wonderfully happy family can fall apart at the blink of an eye. Now, throughout this essay new criticism will be applied to A Doll’s House and discuss all the different literary devices, followed by what they add to the story.
Nora Hemler – The protagonist of the play and the wife of Torvald Helmer. Nora initially seems like a playful, naïve child who lacks knowledge of the world outside her home and a bit of a ditz. When her husband, Torvald, calls her things like his "little squirrel," his "little lark," and, worst of all, a "featherhead," she doesn 't seem to mind. Experiences and knowledge have enabled her to see her position in her marriage with increasing clarity and finds the strength to free herself from her oppressive situation.