Nora As A Developing Character In “A Dollhouse”

818 words - 4 pages

A major theme within the play titled A Dollhouse by Henrik Ibsen, focuses on the manner in which women are perceived in different relationships; particularly in their role as a mother, friendships, and marriages. The way a play’s characters are developed helps to bring those characters to life and to add depth and drama to the work itself. Nora’s character is no exception. Nora is shown in many different moral dilemmas throughout the play, which reveals her multifaceted personality.
Nora’s character develops as a mother in many ways. Nora is first portrayed as a loving, yet very childlike mother. This is demonstrated in Act I, when she is participating in a game of hide-and-seek with her children; going as far as to hide under the table. This is not typical behavior of a mother during the late 1800’s. The carefree attitude, with regard to her children, displayed by Nora in Act I is never seen again. Upon the entrance of Nils Krogstad’s character to the play, Nora is too consumed with her own thoughts and fears to tend to her children in the childlike way she had in the past. Instead, Nora is always shuffling the children off with the nurse. Nora even goes as far as to ask the children to lie if approached about Krogstad’s secret appearance in the home. This is important because, later Torvald proclaims that women are responsible for the morality of their children. At the end of Act III after all of Nora’s secrets are revealed, Nora then decides to detach herself even further from her children, by abandoning them in lieu of finding herself.
The friendship within the play that most illustrates Nora’s character development is her old friend Christine Linde. Even though Mrs. Linde had been away for the past ten years, Nora seems extremely self-centered and only interested in bragging about herself when Mrs. Linde enters the play. In fact, Nora fails to even recognize Mrs. Linde when she first arrives. Nora exclaims several times about what a “thoughtless creature she is” and how she “mustn’t be selfish to-day (1762).” All the while Nora is droning on and on about how wonderful her marriage and life has turned out; lamenting the stark contrast between Nora’s and Mrs. Linde’s lives. Nora’s character then has a slight change of heart...

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