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Nora and Christine in “A Doll’s House”

Updated December 29, 2021
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Nora and Christine in “A Doll’s House” essay

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Right from the beginning of A Doll House, you can clearly see the differences between Nora Helmer and Christine Linde. One such difference is in their marriages. The relationship between Nora and Torvald seem rather typical in this type of story, where there’s not exactly an equal footing between the two in the marriage with Torvald being more superior while in charge of everything Nora does. One example is how Torvald always calls her pet names which might not sound bad at first until you realize there’s always “little” in front of the pet names. From how he always has that at the beginning of every pet name, it paints the picture that Torvald always sees himself above Nora:

“Helmer [calls out from his room]. Is that my little lark twittering out there?

Nora [busy opening some of the parcels]. Yes, it is!

Helmer. Is it my little squirrel bustling about?

Nora. Yes!”

(Henrik Ibsen)

Moving on to Ms. Linde (or Christine), she is originally a widow at the beginning of the play, and her life seems to be a rather big contrast to Nora’s life. While Nora seems to have a rather easy and pleasant life with Torvald, Christine has had it rough by herself. For her family to be well, she had to give her being with Krogstad and be with a businessman she had no strong feelings toward. Eventually, her brothers grew up and her mother and husband have passed away. The business went down afterward, so she had to work for a lot of “crummy” jobs.

Nora had to work a few odd jobs, but it was nothing compared to what Linde had to go through. To help Nora with the blackmail, she eventually did make amends with Krogstad and offered to be with him as a wife. However, unlike Torvald and Nora’s relationship being unequal with Torvald having more authority, Christine and Krogstad are wanting to be more open and equal in their relationship:

“Mrs. Linde: Well, I am like a shipwrecked woman clinging to some wreckage–no one to mourn for, no one to care for.

Krogstad: It was your own choice.

Mrs. Linde: There was no other choice–then.

Krogstad: Well, what now?

Mrs. Linde: Nils, how would it be if we two shipwrecked people could join forces?

Krogstad: What are you saying?

Mrs. Linde: Two on the same piece of wreckage would stand a better chance than each on their own.”

(Henrik Ibsen)

At the end of the play, they practically swapped positions with each other when compared to the beginning: Nora leaves Torvald and heads out to become wise like Christine into the same painful life that she went through, whereas Christine and Krogstad form a new and happy life together. In a sense, Christine could be seen as a foil to Nora, especially when they practically swapped positions by the end.

Nora and Christine in “A Doll’s House” essay

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Nora and Christine in “A Doll’s House”. (2021, Dec 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/nora-and-christine-in-a-dolls-house/

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