Essay on The Role of Mrs. Linde in "A Doll's House"

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Freedom Through Independence of Will In A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen focuses on the importance of women's roles and freedom in society. Widely regarded as a feminist paean, the play features two major female characters; the most prominent of whom, Nora Helmer, shatters her position as a subservient, doll-like female when she walks out on her husband and children with a flagrant "door slam heard round the world." Nora’s evolution, though inspiring, should not overshadow another crucial woman in the play: Mrs. Kristine Linde. Both women attain freedom in a society dominated by the adherence to conservative marital roles, but do it in different ways. While Nora reaches her consciousness and slams the door on her shackling domicile, Mrs. …show more content…

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. At the end of their first reconnection, Nora reveals that her transformation from obedient doll to liberated woman had already begun. She now admires Mrs. Linde for her long years of work and independence and uses it as inspiration for her own. In Mrs. Linde’s trust, Nora exposes her personal act of sovereignty: a few years ago, she had secretly borrowed money to save her husband’s life, incriminating herself. Even though she did the morally correct thing, Nora’s actions are condemnable and

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