Mrs. Lindes tells Nora that she is ‘still a child’. Nora ‘tosses her head’ and begins to reveal to Kristina (Mrs. Linde) a ‘dark secret’ this is done in order to prove Kristina wrong. She tells Kristina in a manner that she is to ‘just like everybody else,’ Here we hear about how Nora has saved ‘Torvald’s life’ with a trip to Italy all paid with Nora’s ‘allowance. ‘ Again her lie does not seem to be any bad as she does it in order to save her husbands life.
As we move on we discover that Nora really borrowed the money from Krogstad without her husbands permission. In those days this was a disliked act as the man controlled the incoming and outgoings of the money in the house. Also the fact that Torvald detested borrowing money was seen when he said that ‘if a home builds it foundations upon debt then its beauty and freedom is lost. ‘ Not only this we also find out that Nora has forged her fathers signature in order to get the money.
However in a way we don’t justify Nora’s actions as she is saving her husband and at the same time she was protecting her dying father from worry. We also end up disliking Krogstad on his first appearance as he appears to be a cruel , cold hearted man. Again we seem to express sympathy for Nora who seems to be a child taken up problems only for grown ups. Nora also shows her confidence by telling Krogstad that she is ‘not afraid of him anymore’ and her self- assurance is also expressed when she walks out on Torvald.
During the time of this play women in society were not to be seen as independent or self-reliable, instead their major role was to work around the house. Nora first broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing so she made it look as though her husband depended on her. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald continually referred to her as a ‘poor helpless little creature. ‘ Secondly Nora decides to leave her children and Torvald. In the society those days women were placed under their husbands.
This was quite evident through the way Torvald use to speak to Nora, ‘worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,’ also Nora is seen as somewhat a posession of Torvalds, ‘Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me- that’s all my very own. ‘ However when Nora leaves the house she breaks the rules of the society bringing her position equal to that of her husbands. Nora imerges as a fully independent women who rejects her duties towards her family but concentrates on the ‘duties to herself.
‘ Throughout the play we see how Nora eventually manages to pull out from under the covers and stand up for her own rights. Moving onto Kristina we know that she gave up the man she loved (Krogstad) to financially support her mother and two younger brothers. An unexpected death frees her from an unhappy marriage. When Kristina broke off with Krogstad she believed she would spare him griief by ending the relationship and crushing the love he had for her. In making him believe that she had thrown him over for a richer man she drove him into crime .
Left out on her own she was forced into the world, made to earn her way and to become an independent women. The bank had offered her a job however she told Krogstad that ‘I must work or life isnt bearable. ‘ Kristina was in a way an example or a role model to Nora. Kristina was able to be self-reliable and step out into the world. At the end of the play Nora begins to sense the first part of the lesson that Kristina has learned fully. Nora must go out into the world and educate herself , to support herself.
She believes that she has a duty to herself. Another issue to be discussed is different relationships these women had with their husbands. Torvald and Nora had a relationship where there is no equality. As for Kristina and Krogstad their relationship is much more open. They discuss important matters in a serious manner and are able to compromise however Torvald would always tell Nora that she was not to worry about anything and she would not understand such complex matters.
Even though there are many contrasts that can be drawn between Nora and Mrs. Linde there are similarities that are quite apparent. Mrs. Linde shows her loyalty to her family when she accepts a marriage proposal in order to support the welfare of her family. Then, we have Nora who saves her husbands life, which portrays the trend of women sacrificing for the well-being of their families. They both believe in expressing their feelings of pride and fulfillment in helping their families. Ibsens portrays two different women in ‘A Doll’s House.
‘ Kristina being an independent women who has faced the many troubles life can offer and Nora a typical women of the late 1800’s who was under the control of her husband. However Nora is able to ‘escape’ from this life and set out into the world. I believe that Ibsen was successful in leaving the audience satisfied with the outcome of both women as they both were able to move out from what society condemned as duties of a women and instead set out into the world to complete the duties they had towards themselves.