Analysis Of The Character Of Mrs. Linde In A Doll's House

1251 words - 5 pages

The American author Napoleon Hill once stated “think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” In Henrick Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, the character of Mrs. Linde contributes to the exposition and pivotal moment of the decideding factors of Krogstad, she also has a profound influence on the character development of Nora Helmer. Mrs. Linde directly contributes to Nora’s moment of realization and Nora’s decision to leave her husband at the end of the play.
Woman within Ibsen’s time period were often considered lesser in comparison to men, and typically within a marriage the woman was considered an accessory rather than an equal. But in the case of Mrs. Linde, who as a widow is unable to fill these matronly roles due to inconventient family issues; she is now forced to work outside of the home. Women at the time were not trusted to partake in matters of grave importance such as finances or other issues (Intro to Franz Kalfka). However, growing up in a home where a woman occupied many of the dominant male roles, Ibsen was able to look past the menial labels society placed on women and portray them as the strong, the levelheaded individuals they are, such as Mrs. Linde. In his play A Doll’s House, Ibsen further exemplifies his beliefs through the characters of Mrs. Linde, a hard working independent individual, and Nora Helmer a dependent seeming naive individual.
In the beginning of Act I, Nora Helmer is presented as a somewhat childish and frivolous character. She remains unmoved when her husband tells her that they “can’t spend money recklessly,” her rebuttal is that they can “borrow” until he has received his salary. The audience has no background information about Nora, and is only provided information about certain events in the prelude. As a result, Ibsen introduces the character of Mrs. Linde in order to develop the exposition of the story. Mrs. Linde is presented to the reader as an old, nearly forgotten friend looking for work on the account of her husband’s death. In spite of her own terrible misfortune, Mrs. Linde is still interested “to hear about” Nora (Act I). It may appear as though Nora is flaunting her good fortune to Mrs. Linde and Mrs. Linde is merely acting as a respectful house guest by offering to listen to Nora, but Ibsen is using Mrs. Linde’s statement in order to present another layer of Nora’s character. Nora ignores Mrs. Linde’s perception that she is “incapable of anything serious” by revealing how she acquired a loan without her husband’s permission or knowledge (Act 1). This seemingly simple act of secrecy indicates Nora’s lack of conformity to her time period. It was unheard of and illegal for a woman to partake in any business deals without the consent of her husband. But by breaking the law and defying the social norms, Nora is shedding her appearance as a “poor little girl” and proving that she knows what it is like to worry...

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