Characters and Analysis
Nora: Nora is the main character of the play, she is married to Torvald Helmer. At first, Nora is depicted as being playful, almost childlike, and lacking of the ways of the world outside of her sitting room window. She does possess some experience, however, evident in her small acts of rebellion that are used to indicate that she is not as innocent or happy as she comes across. She eventually realizes her role in her marriage, and finds in herself the strength to leave.
Torvald Helmer: (Sometimes referred to only as Helmer) Torvald is Nora’s husband. He is proud of his new role at the bank, and also proud of his position of authority over his wife. He regularly treats Nora as though she were a child, interestingly, he is both kind and patronizing at the same time.
He does not see his wife as his equal, but rather as his personal doll – or plaything – an owned object that can be used for his own amusement and for the admiration of others. Torvald places great emphasis on his social status, and his permits his emotions to be swayed greatly by the prospect of being either respected or scorned by those around him.
Krogstad: Krogstad is a lawyer who attended school alongside Torvald and now holds an inferior position at the bank they both are employed at. Krogstad is depicted as being contradictory in nature. His wrongdoings appear to stem from a want to protect his children, his is equally as willing to use seedy tactics to get whatever he wants. His readiness to facilitate Nora’s suffering is deplorable, yet he claims to feel a small amount of sympathy for her and the horrible circumstances of his life compel the audience to sympathize with him.
Kristine Linde: Kristine is Nora’s childhood friend. She is depicted as being reasonable, and capable of maintaining her sense. Qualities that counteract Nora’s own childish outlook on life and the world. Kristie Linde’s recollection of her life being deep in the throes of poverty underscore the very privileged life that Nora lives. The audience learns that Kristine had to give up a part of her life to care for an ailing parent, unlike Nora who chose to abandon her own father when he will sick and dying.
Dr. Rank: Dr. Rank is the one character who shows no apparent interest in what others think of him. He is Torvald’s best friend and very aware of the nearing of the end of his life. Unlike Nora or Torvald, Dr. Rank is okay with admitting the downfalls of his own life. He knows how much Torvald dislikes uncomfortable topics, and because of this, never really discusses his critical illness with his friend. Leaving him to find out later on.
Bob, Emmy, and Ivar: These are the children of Nora and Torvald. In the brief time that the children are present, Nora presents herself as a loving mother. However, she later refuses to spend time with them out of fear that she might morally corrupt them.
Anne-Marie: Anne-Marie is the nanny of the three Helmer children. Her character is not fully developed in the play, but she is depicted as being a kind hearted woman who genuinely admires the lady of the house. In order to take the nursing job offered by Nora’s father, Anne-Marie had to give up her own daughter, thus resulting her expressing to Nora and Kristine her understanding of what it is like to have to sacrifice something of great importance for economic necessity.
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