The Doll`s House" By H. Ibsen: Nora Helmer Character Analysis

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Nora Helmer is a good wife and mother. She does all she can for her family, especially her husband. Considering all the things she does, and the lengths she went to to make sure her husband could regain his health, it was not enough in the end. Nora eventually realizes nothing she could have done would ever be enough for her husband, Torvald. After what her husband puts her through in this play she realizes that she can now live her life for herself and not anyone else.

Nora is a young woman who still has her life ahead of her, even though she’s married with children. She is a good mother, judging from the long speech she gives in Act I when her children come home. She seems happy and full of life and willing to do whatever it takes to keep her husband happy. That includes borrowing money illegally, letting him treat her like a child, and ignoring all of the warning signs about the type of person he is.

The relationship between Nora and Mrs. Linde kind of gives off a competitive or condescending vibe. Mrs. Linde tells Nora about her husband dying and the first thing that comes to Nora’s mind is to tell her about how her husband was sick one time. She may have just been trying to help Kristine feel like she’s not alone, but who knows? Another thing is the way she kind of bragged about having children after Kristine mentioned that she and her husband did not have any. So Nora kind of has this “me and my husband against the world” thing going on. With all this being said, I don’t think Nora is completely condescending towards Kristine. I think she still cares for her as a friend.

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Nora and Dr. Rank’s relationship is not a very detailed one. Dr. Rank is always at their house because he is dying and lonely. They seem to get along pretty well. She seems a bit flirtatious with him, but she isn’t serious about it. Dr. Rank is in love with her. Nora does not feel the same way about him, since she is in love with her husband. I am sure she innocently cares for him, but probably only because she feels bad for him.

The person that Nora has the most tension with is Krogstad. Krogstad comes off as very hostile and angry. His anger seems kind of justifiable. No one would want to lose their job for no reason. He feels like since Kristine is friends with Nora, she is somehow to blame, so he resents her for that. He even goes as far as to blackmail her. He was bold to do that. She seems scared of him because of the way she lets him cut her off when they are talking.

Nora’s relationship with her husband is not like a normal married couple relationship. Torvald does not treat her like an equal adult. He treats her like a child. The way he interrogated her about whether or not she had stopped to get any sweets was very demeaning. The line, “Surely my sweet tooth hasn’t been running riot in town today, has she?” shows this. The way Nora was so serious in her answers to him, “No, I assure you”, “No, not at all”, and “You know I could never go against you.”, was a huge red flag. Those are the types of things a child says to a parent to convince them they did not do anything wrong. The line, “...he’s worried they’ll ruin my teeth.” is also really weird. She’s a grown woman. So he treats her this way, and Nora still goes out of her way to do something illegal like forging her father’s signature on a loan to make sure her husband can get the proper care he needs. This relationship is what affects this character the most.

The main problem this character has in this story is that she has done something illegal for a husband that does not even truly care for her or value her as a person, and especially not as his wife. She kind of risks it all for him. She solves this problem by realizing her worth and how little he cares for her.

Nora starts as a positive person who feels like she has a good marriage and a good life. As the play goes on her life kind of goes downhill. She eventually realizes her husband never really loved her. He loved having a barbie doll in his house to look good for everyone else around them. Hence the name of the play, “A Doll House”. Their home is nothing but a doll house, and their marriage is nothing but a show. Sadly, it took her as long as it did to realize it. She is young so she can take hold of her life early even though she has three children. Her relationships with Kristine and Krogstad were kind of blessings in disguise. If the whole situation with them had not happened Nora would have stayed in that loveless marriage. 

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