Characters

Henrik Ibsen's famous drama A Doll's House (1879) focuses only on a small number of characters. In total, there are five characters who are important for the development of the plot and who mirror each other in their behavior: Nora, her husband Torvald, Nora's friend Christine, the lawyer Krogstad, and the close friend of the Helmer family Dr. Rank, to whom Nora can confide her worries and troubles.

Most of all, the play is centered on the main character Nora and her development. Her past explains her behavior in the present and eventually leads her to emancipate herself from it with her decision to set out for a new life. Her husband, Torvald Helmer, is a controlling man who is at first affectionate and friendly towards his wife, but later presents his cold and self-centered side, which shocks his wife and causes her to distance herself from him as well.

Nora's personality is also a mirror image of her old and life-scarred friend Christine, who hopes that Torvald's professional advancement will enable her to obtain a good job through him. In the course of the plot, it also turns out that Torvald's colleague Krogstad, from whom Nora borrowed the money and who is now blackmailing her with a signature she forged, used to be Christine's lover. All these connections between the characters and the effects on the course of the plot are explained in the characterizations and in the character map.

Extract 

Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Nora and her children

Nora has three children : Ivar, Bob and Emmy. At the beginning of the story, she has a very close relationship with her children, showering them with love and physical affection and playing with them. The appearance of Krogstad during a game of hide-and-seek causes a bitter fracture in this relationship

The children are afraid of the strange man and suspect his evil intentions. Nora therefore has to send them into the next room and calm them down: "No, the strange man won’t do mother any harm." (Act 1, 94%). She promises to continue playing with them afterwards, but this moment will be the last close contact between her and her children.

The reason for this...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in