Character Analysis From A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen

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Character analysis from a Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen


This paper analyzes the character of Nora Helmer, the heroine of “A Doll's House”, a masterpiece work of Irish playwright Henrik Ibsen.

Nora is portrayed in the novel as the “doll-wife” of Torvald Helmer. She always seeks to charm her husband, Nora is his “singing lark,” his pretty “little squirrel,” and his “little spendthrift.” She seems to be a spendthrift because secretly she is paying off a debt she incurred to finance a year in Italy for the sake of Torvald's health (Shafer, 19). To get the money, she had forged her dying father's name to a bond at the bank. Krogstad, a bookkeeper at the bank where Torvald has recently been appointed manager, is aware that the bond was signed after the death of Nora's father. He puts pressure on Nora to persuade Torvald to promote him (Mencken, 50).

Thesis Statement

The plot hinges upon Nora's ignorance of three important facts: Krogstad holds a minor position in the bank of which Torvald is shortly to become manager; Torvald is so embarrassed by Krogstad's presumptuous familiarity that he plans to fire him; and forgery, no matter what the motivation, is a serious crime.


Part of the play's effectiveness on stage depends on Ibsen's suggestive use of props, costumes, and activities (for example, the Christmas tree, the macaroons, the game of hide-and-seek) to illustrate psychological states or to underscore symbolic meanings. In its day, A Doll's House was extremely controversial. While many applauded Nora's determination to “be herself,” many more condemned her as “unnatural” for deserting her children. More than a century later, the play still raises questions that stimulate readers and spectators.

Frightened, Nora agrees to help him. When her friend Christine Linde, a widow and formerly Krogstad's sweetheart, also asks for help, Nora easily persuades Torvald ...
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