Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” Essay
- Date:Jul 13, 2019
- Category:A Doll's House
‘A Doll’s House’ is a very famous and critically acclaimed play in three acts, written by Norwegian Henrik Ibsen. The play was first premiered at the Royal Theatre in the year 1879, on December 21st. The theme of the play captivates a serious social issue regarding the marriage and the customs associated with the choosing of the life partners during 19th century. The major theme of the play captivates an essence of women rights and the individual liberty to comprehend the real nature of the person and the struggle to achieve that identity.
The play revolves round Nora Helmer, a timid housewife who is utterly disgusted and dissatisfied with her disdainful husband, Torvald. A Doll’s House is a play that concerns the disillusionment of Nora and her recovery from the illusionary world. There are many minor characters and each of them evolves a minor plot in the play that supports and suffices the action of the main plot. Among all the minor characters in the play, the character of Mrs Kristine Linde, one of the very old friend of Nora serves as the most effective and functional element that acts as a catalyst to the development of the main plot.
When the course of the main plot is in a fix for the exposition of the mind of its protagonist Nora, the character of Mrs Linde evolves as a very suitable device for the exposition of the inner thoughts of Nora’s mind. At the outset of the play, almost very early in the Act One, the readers are introduced with the character of Mrs Linde. She is a lonely widow who is a forgotten old friend of Nora and she comes to ask for a job from Nora’s husband. Linde is in acute financial trouble as well. Her thought process, lifestyle and approach are subtly and purposefully projected with contrast to the Nora’s condition.
At the same time, many of Nora’s inner conflict come to the surface while she starts to exchange dialogues with Mrs Linde. Nora confesses about her flirtations with Dr. Rank and without listening to Linde’s serious troubles, very meanly and selfishly she starts to narrate about the recent success of Travold and the way she saved his life and paid off his debts. To this action of Nora, Mrs Linde comments, “How kind you are, Nora, to be so anxious to help me! It is doubly kind in you, for you know so little of the burdens and troubles of life” (Ibsen, H., “A Dolls House”).
This comment not only expresses the complacent condition of Nora and her unnecessary complaints about her life and her husband, but also projects Nora’s self centred nature.
Action of Mrs Linde does not end here in the play. She is projected much more than a sounding board as the plot of the play develops. Linde offers her strong contention regarding the challenging and questionable actions of Nora. She counsels her against the secret flirtation with Dr. Rank and raises inquisitions amid the long drawn speeches of Nora.
However, the role and action of Mrs Linde becomes more important and pivotal during third act of the play where not only Mrs Linde becomes a meddling element between Nora and her husband but very skillfully becomes an instrument of removing the villain, Korgstad from the main plot. Though the jovial ending of the play is completely not pragmatic yet, it is effective in disillusioning Nora and bringing things all set and back to its place between Nora and her husband. Linde is very much successful in changing Korgstad’s mind but at the same place she insists Nora to confess her fault and comments, “Helmer must know all about it. This unhappy secret must be enclosed; they must have a complete understanding between them, which is impossible with all this concealment and falsehood going on” (Ibsen, H., “A Dolls House”).
She uses her influence rightly to reveal the secrecy of Nora’s life to her husband.
On thematic aspects as well, Mrs Kristine Linde has much contribution in the play. She is a contrasting phenomenon to the Ibsen’s criticism of the institution of marriage. In Act Three of the play, we find the celebration for the revival of domesticity, “Mrs. Linde (tidying up the room and laying her hat and coat ready): What a difference! What a difference! Someone to work for and live for –a home to bring comfort into” (Ibsen, H., “A Dolls House”).
She is also happy to think about her new life with Korgstad and at the end of the play she stands as the balance between Nora’s impatient and passionate nature as a mark of perseverance, love and tenacity.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Dolls House Arc Manor LLC, 2009.