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CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION 

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION :NORA HELMER

Nora Helmer is the protagonist or the main character or the heroine in the play.  Still a young woman, she is married to Torvald Helmer and has three children. Nora is by far the most interesting character in the play. Her whole life is a construct of societal norms and the expectations of others.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Impulsive and a spendthrift

In her first moments onstage, we see her give the porter an overly generous tip.

She comes in with tonnes of Christmas presents, and shrugs at the idea of incurring debt.

Unbeknown to Torvald, Nora borrowed money so that they could afford a year-long trip to Italy.

  1. Loving

Nora borrowed money so that they could afford a year-long trip to Italy. Doctors said that Torvald would die without it—but that he shouldn’t know how bad his condition was.

Nora brings home lots of Christmas presents for everybody in her house.

She plays hide-and-go-seek with her kids.

  1. Independent and farsighted

In the past, Nora was always a passive child-like possession who followed Torvald’s orders, but towards the end of the play, she is an independent adult and is able to dominate Torvald.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Wise and intelligent

Nora uses wisdom and intelligence to confront an emergency. She forges her father’s signature in order to secure a loan from Krogstad so as to save her husband’s life.

Nora realizes that her understanding of herself, her husband, her marriage, and even her society was all wrong. She decides that she can no longer be happy in her life and marriage, and resolves to leave Torvald and her home in order to find a sense of self and learn about the world, a newly empowered woman boldly escaping the oppressive clutches of her old life.

Nora has been leading a double life. She has not been thoughtlessly spending their money. Rather, she has been saving to pay off a secret debt.

  1. Childlike, immature, ignorant and whimsical

-She happily accepts the pet names “little lark”, “little squirrel”, and “Little Miss Extravagant” that her husband calls her without any opposition. In fact she seems to enjoy and even play into it. -The maturity level Nora exhibits demonstrates that the relationship between Torvald and Nora is more like father and daughter than husband and wife.

  1. Irresponsible and reckless

Her first act on stage is paying the porter. Though his service only costs sixpence, she gives him a shilling. (Pg 1) The casual way in which she gives it to him is indicative of her irresponsibility. She hands him the shilling and before he can thank her, she decides in the middle of the transaction that she is not patient enough to wait for change.

She forges loan documents to raise money for an expensive trip to Italy. Even if the documents were not forged, Nora did not have any means to repay the loan anyway.

She has never spent serious time with her husband of nearly a decade, and is always dumping her children on the nurse rather than bonding with them herself.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Dishonest and deceitful

She falsely blames Mrs. Linde for smuggling forbidden macaroons into the house.

She has been eating macaroons, something she has been forbidden by her husband, despite her promises of total obedience to him.

At the beginning of her marriage, she secretly borrowed money from Nils Krogstad and forged her father’s signature in order to finance a trip to Italy that was necessary to save Torvald’s life.

  1. Unfeeling

She blames Mrs. Linde for smuggling forbidden macaroons into the house. Though she is just trying to hide her indiscretions, she does not care whom she hurts in the process.

  1. Materialistic

She is always trying to make herself happy by buying things: dresses, toys, candy etc., rather than doing anything meaningful with her life.

She is infatuated with the acquisition of possessions.

  1. Decisive, resolute and independent-minded
  • At the end of the play, it becomes clear to Nora that “[she] had been living all these years with a strange man, and [she] had born him three children.”(Pg 117-118) This realization forces her into the real world and she ceases to be a doll. At the end of the above statement, she adds “Oh, I cannot bear to think of it!” -She tells her husband, “Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa’s doll-child.”(Pg 118) In the end, Nora has a sort of spiritual awakening. She walks out into the night alone but, for perhaps the first time in her life, she’s on the path to becoming a fully realized, fully independent human being.
  • She decides to desert her family to go on a quest of personal enlightenment.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

The act of concealing the ill-gotten loan signifies Nora’s independent streak. She is proud of the sacrifice she has made. Although she says nothing to Torvald, she brags about her actions with her old friend, Mrs. Linde.

  • Nora is independent enough to negotiate the loan to make her family’s holiday possible, and over the course of the play, Nora emerges as a fully independent woman who rejects both the false union of her marriage and the burden of motherhood.
  1. Manipulative

At the end of the play, Nora seats Torvald at the table and explains her situation to him. She does not let him speak until she has finished what she wants to say.

Other examples of manipulation are having a nanny take care of her children, having Mrs. Linde repair her dress, behaving seductively around Dr. Rank, influencing Torvald to give her money, and most importantly convincing Krogstad to overlook the similarity between her penmanship and her “father’s.”

  1. Selfish

She does not want to forgive Torvald. She would rather start another life than try to fix her existing one.

  1. A dreamer
  • Until she comes to the realization that her life is a sham, she spends her whole life in a dream world in which she does not take anything seriously.
  • In her dream world, Nora takes a back seat approach to life and becomes like an object, reacting to other’s expectations rather than advancing herself.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Trusting and naïve

-She trusted that Krogstad would not blackmail her and it therefore comes as a rude shock when he does so.

-Until she comes to the realization that her life is a waste, she spends her whole life in a dream world of naivety. In this dream world, Nora does not take life seriously, an attitude that led to many of the plot’s complications.

-She believes that Torvald loves her enough to take all blame upon himself, but she is mistaken. When she realizes that he is more concerned with appearances and respectability than with her happiness, she decides to leave him and find her own way in life.

-She naively thought that Torvald would selflessly give up everything for her. When he fails to do this, she accepts the fact that their marriage has been an illusion. Their false devotion has been merely play acting. She has been his “child-wife” and his

“doll.”

  1. Determined

-Whenever Nora would get money from Torvald, she would reserve half of it to repay the debt, determined to clear it all one fine day.

-She was so determined to save her husband that she committed fraud to do so.

  1. Hardworking

-She has been secretly working odd jobs to pay back the debt.

  1. Courageous, bold, daring and tenacious

-To save her husband from poor health, she committed fraud. She valued love over the law.

-She courageously confronts Torvald about the demeaning way he treats her at the end of the play.

-She slammed the door on her husband as she left.

-Although she has been forbidden from eating macaroons by her husband, she still does it anyway despite her promises of total obedience to him.

  1. Calculating

-She is blackmailed by Krogstad, so she begs Torvald to let Krogstad keep his job.

-She flirts with Dr. Rank in the hope of borrowing money from him.

– She gets Christine to go and talk to Krogstad on her behalf regarding the withdrawal of the letter.

-She dances the tarantella to distract Torvald from the mail.

  1. Principled and firm

-She decides against borrowing from Rank when he reveals that he is dying and is in love with her.

-She rejects Torvald’s drunken advances after the party.

  1. Secretive

-She has never told Torvald where the money for their trip to Italy came from, as his pride would suffer.

-She also hides her thoughts and actions from her husband even when there is no real benefit in doing so.

  1. Suicidal

-She contemplates committing suicide in order to eliminate the dishonour she has brought upon her family.

  1. Rebellious

-She eats macaroons even though she has been forbidden by her husband.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

ROLE

  1. Advancement of the plot – Nora is the central character in the play around whom the play circulates. As a result of her borrowing money from Krogstad, the conflict in the play is born as Krogstad tries to blackmail her with that secret, in order to make Nora’s husband, Torvald, to allow him keep his former job at the bank. When Torvald refuses, Krogstad sends him a letter to inform him about Nora’s indebtedness. Torvald’s reaction to this letter not only betrays his true nature, but also leads to Nora leaving him and her children to seek independence and freedom.
  2. Development of themes – Nora helps in developing themes such as love and marriage, women and feminity, lies and deceit, money and materialism, the sacrificial role of women, parental and filial obligations, the unreliability of appearances, gender roles, individual vs. society, growth and development and betrayal
  3. Revealing character traits of other characters – Nora helps in revealing the character traits of other characters. For example, she helps in revealing Torvald as selfish and egoistic, naïve, strict, loving, hypocritical and hardworking. Through her, we learn that Krogstad was on one hand, vicious and ruthless, but on the other hand, merciful and forgiving. Dr Rank’s friendly but immoral nature is revealed through Nora. Mrs Linde traitorous nature is also revealed through her.
  4. Enhancing style – Nora helps in enhancing the style of symbolism (through the symbols like the Christmas tree, tarantella, the dolls, macaroons), dramatic irony, foreshadow, etc.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

TORVALD HELMER

Torvald Helmer is a lawyer who at the start of the play has recently been promoted to Bank Manager. He is married to Nora Helmer, with whom he has three children. He does not seem particularly fond of his children; even once saying that their presence makes the house “will only be bearable for a mother now!”(Pg 30) His best friend is Dr. Rank, who visits him every day.

  1. Loving and affectionate

-He loves and is very affectionate towards Nora. That is why he showers her with endearments like “My little skylark”, “My little squirrel”, “My little singing bird,” “My pretty little pet,” “My little sweet-tooth,” and “My poor little Nora.” and “Little Miss Extravagant.” With every term of endearment, the word “little” is always included to show affection.

– His despair as Nora exits at the very end of the play suggests that, despite his patronizing and unjust treatment of her, Torvald really does love Nora.

  1. Generous

-He treats Nora generously, giving her extra money when she asks for it.

  1. Proud

-Typical of many contemporary heads-of-the-family, he is a proud specimen of a middle-class husband.

  1. Morally upright
  • He sees Krogstad as irredeemably morally tainted, and hence decides to give his job to Mrs Linde.
  • He is keenly concerned with his place and status in society and wouldn’t allow anybody to threaten his reputation, including his own wife.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Selfish

-He considers Nora merely as an ornamental sex object instead of an equal partner in their marriage and the mother of his children.

-He maintains amorous fantasies toward his wife: he dresses her as a Capri fisher girl and encourages her to dance in order to arouse his desires.

-At the end of the play, Nora imagines that Torvald will defend her honour and not allow Krogstad to blackmail the Helmers. Nora imagines that Torvald would sacrifice his own reputation and future to save her, but Torvald tells her that he would not make the sacrifice, shattering Nora’s dream world. At this point it becomes clear to her that she had been living all these years with a strange man, and she had born him three children.

-He planned to cope with the scandal resulting from blackmail by stripping Nora of her spousal and motherly duties, but would keep her in the house for appearance sake.

-He is overly concerned with his place and status in society, and he allows his emotions to be swayed heavily by the prospect of society’s respect and the fear of society’s scorn.

  1. Hardworking and diligent

-He spends a great deal of his time at home in his study working, avoiding general visitors and interacting very little with his children. In fact, he sees himself primarily as responsible for the financial welfare of his family and as a guardian for his wife.

  1. Dictatorial, authoritarian and patronizing

-He restrains Nora with rules, much as a father would have to inhibit a child, forbidding her from eating macaroons and other temporal pleasures.

  1. Manipulative

-He insists on Nora wearing the fish girl costume for the tarantella. The costume and dance are part of Torvald’s fantasy of gazing upon Nora from across the room at a party and pretending that she is something exotic. Torvald made Nora take on a foreign identity; he used her as a doll.

  1. Unforgiving

-When he finds out about the debt, he fails to forgive her until he is sure that his reputation is safe.

  1. Heartless and unfeeling

-At the end of the play, Torvald seems untroubled and even a little relieved at the thought of Dr. Rank’s death.

-When he finds out about Nora’s secret debt, he instantly turns on her until he confirms that his reputation is safe.

-His heartless and unfeeling nature makes Nora not to tell him the truth about her loan, and Dr Rank not to tell him about his imminent death.

  1. Conservative and traditional

-Torvald’s focus on status and being treated as superior by people like Nils Krogstad points at his obsession with reputation and appearances.

-He has straightforward and traditional beliefs about marriage and society.

-When Nora tells him she is leaving him, Torvald at first reacts by calling her mad and saying she is acting like a stupid child.

-He is unable to cope with the disagreeable truths of life. –However, he can be said to be flexible because when he realizes how resolute Nora is in her decision, he offers to change and desperately searches for a way to make her change her mind.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Shallow and vain

-He is incapable of understanding his wife or of properly returning her love.

  1. Hypocritical and self-righteous

-Though he regards her as his wife, he never considers her an equal partner in the relationship.

-Many times throughout the play, Torvald criticizes the morality of other characters. He trashes the reputation of Krogstad, one of his lesser employees. He speculates that Krogstad’s corruption probably started in the home. Torvald believes that if the mother of a household is dishonest, then surely the children will become morally infected. He also complains about Nora’s late father. When Torvald learns that Nora has committed forgery, he blames her crime on her father’s weak morals.

-In the beginning of Act Three, after dancing and having a merry time at a holiday party, Torvald tells Nora how much he cares for her. He claims to be absolutely devoted to her. He even wishes that some calamity would befall them so that he could demonstrate his steadfast, heroic nature.

Of course, a moment later, such an opportunity arises. Torvald finds the letter revealing how Nora has brought scandal and blackmail into his household. Nora is in trouble, but Torvald fails to come to her rescue as he had promised.

  1. Naïve

-Throughout the play, Torvald is oblivious to his wife’s craftiness. When he discovers the truth at the end, he is outraged.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

ROLE

  1. Advancement of the plot – Torvald is also a major character in the play who plays an instrumental role in the development of the plot. It is as a result of his illness and the subsequent one-year stay in Italy that caused Nora to get into a debt trap with Krogstad. When he refuses to reinstate Krogstad to his former job at the bank, he intensifies the conflict because this makes Krogstad to send him a letter exposing his wife’s secret. The fact that he at first refuses to forgive her leads to Nora’s sudden discovery that he was a selfish, egoistic man. She has no alternative but leave him and her children to seek independence and freedom.
  2. Development of themes – Torvald also helps in developing themes such as love and marriage, pride, honour, respect and reputation, money and materialism, parental and filial obligations, the unreliability of appearances, gender roles, individual vs. society, and betrayal.
  3. Revealing character traits of other characters – Torvald helps in revealing the character traits of other characters. For example, he helps in revealing Nora as impulsive and a spendthrift, childlike and immature, irresponsible and reckless, dishonest and deceitful, manipulative, calculating and traitorous. Through him also, we learn that Krogstad was unscrupulous, vicious and ruthless but merciful and forgiving.
  4. Enhancing style – Torvald helps in enhancing the style of imagery through his pet names for Nora such as “My little skylark”, “My little squirrel”, “My little singing bird,” “My pretty little pet,” “My little sweet-tooth,” and “My poor little Nora.” He also enhances the style of symbolism like his insistence that Nora should wear the dancing costume, similes like when he says he will protect her “like a hunted dove,” dramatic irony, verbal irony, hyperbole, etc.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

MRS CHRISTINE LINDE

Mrs. Linde is an old schoolfriend of Nora’s. She is a woman whose marriage was loveless, and based on a need for financial security, and who doesn’t have any children. She and Krogstad had been in love before, but he was too poor to support her family. She arrives in town in search of a job in order to earn money and survive independently.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Honest and Truthful

-She tells Krogstad that Nora must eventually conclude, through her own sufferings, that the only way of life which can survive crises is one based on truthful relationships.

-She believes very deeply in honesty and stops Krogstad from taking the letter he wrote to Torvald back, thereby ensuring that Torvald finds out about Nora’s secret.

-She insists that, “Helmer must know everything. This unhappy secret must come out!”(Pg 90) Even though she has the power to change Krogstad’s mind, she uses her influence to make certain that Nora’s secret is discovered.

  1. Hardworking

-Towards the end of the play, she explains to Krogstad that she finds joy and meaning in work.

-She worked hard to support her helpless mother and two younger brothers since the death of her husband.

  1. Independent-minded

-She arrives in town in search of a job in order to earn money and survive independently. In this way, she is a fairly modern woman.

  1. Traitorous

-She stops Krogstad from taking the letter he wrote to Torvald back, thereby ensuring that Torvald finds out about Nora’s secret, which seems like betrayal to her friend Nora.  

  1. Conservative and traditional

-She tells both Krogstad and Nora that she is miserable without other people to take care of, thereby fitting into the traditional role of women as caretakers and nurturers. It is this conviction that causes her to marry Krogstad towards the end of the play.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Selfish and materialistic

-She ended up marrying another man in order to have enough money to support her dying mother and young brothers.

Apparently, Krogstad was too poor at this time to marry her. This left Krogstad lost and embittered, unhappy in his own marriage, and is presented as the reason behind his moral corruption. 7. Resilient

-She has lived an independent life as a single working woman. She has struggled financially and now that she has no one to look after, she feels empty.

ROLE

  1. Plot development– she lets the audience know the inner thoughts of the protagonist. She has a major effect on events that happen in the play.
  2. Reveals character traits of Nora and Krogstad – Mrs. Linde functions as a convenient device for exposition. She enters Act One as an almost forgotten friend, a lonely widow seeking a job from Nora’s husband. However, Nora does not spend much time listening to Mrs. Linde’s troubles. Rather selfishly, Nora discusses how excited she is about Torvald Helmer’s recent success. Through Mrs Linde, Nora launches into a dramatic explanation of all her secret activities (obtaining a loan, saving Torvald’s life, paying off her debt). Mrs Linde therefore functions as the primary means by which the audience learns of Nora’s secret and her character traits. She is the first character to see that Nora is not a child.
  3. Develops themes– she introduces the theme of deception.

Through Mrs. Linde, Nora reveals that she has lied to save Helmer’s life and therefore deceived him with her cleverness.

  1. Enhances style– she foreshadows how Nora will confront a bitter future after learning that her marriage is based on deception by recounting how she herself sacrificed her rights to love and self-determination by marrying for financial security.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

DR RANK

Dr. Rank is a medical doctor who is best friends with Torvald and Nora, who he visits every day. He suffers from spinal tuberculosis; a condition he believes was caused by his father’s vices, which included having extramarital affairs and consuming too much luxurious food and drink. He is unmarried and lonely, and over the course of the play it is revealed that he is in love with Nora.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Friendly and loyal

-Nora explains how she always feels at ease around Dr. Rank because he does not have any expectations or demands of her. -He visits the Helmers every day.

  1. Immoral

– It is revealed that he is in love with Nora, his best friend’s wife.

  1. Courageous

-He is unconcerned with what others think of him.

-He has accepted his fate and his impending death.

  1. Cynical

-He rejoices when he finds out that his illness is terminal, and insists that neither Torvald nor Nora visits him in his dying days. As he predicted, he is not particularly missed by the other characters.

  1. Trusting

– He trusts Nora completely. He refrains from telling Torvald of his imminent death because it is too “ugly” an idea for him to tolerate, but he does tell Nora, an indication of the bond between them. He talks with her about his coming death in a code that excludes Torvald and protects him from the harsh reality.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Hypocritical

-Dr Rank is not as straightforward as he appears. His real motive for visiting the Helmers is that he is in love with Nora.

  1. Realistic

– On the subject of the costume party, Dr. Rank suggested that Nora should go as herself and that Torvald should be invisible. Under the surface, Rank is suggesting that Nora should not be a doll. With an invisible chaperon, Nora would not be dominated by a figure placing an identity over her.

ROLE

-To provide amusement for Nora as a change from the tiresome rules of Torvald, just as she used to seek the conversation of the maids as a refreshing change from the strictness of her father.

– Dr. Rank adds to the somber mood of the play; he is not essentially useful to the conflict, climax, or resolution.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

NILS KROGSTAD

Nils Krogstad Krogstad is an employee at the bank at which

Torvald is made manager. He leant Nora the money to take Torvald to Italy to recuperate. He is, at least at the beginning, the main antagonist: Everything is going well for the Helmers until Krogstad enters the story. Known to the other characters as unscrupulous and dishonest, he blackmails Nora, who borrowed money from him with a forged signature, after learning that he is being fired from his job at the bank. In the past, he too committed the crime of forgery, an act that he did not go to prison for but that nonetheless ruined his reputation and made it extremely difficult to find a respectable job.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Morally Corrupt

-In the past, he too committed the crime of forgery, an act that ruined his reputation, though he did not go to prison. But it made it extremely difficult for him to find a respectable job.

-He was once in love with Kristine Linde, who ended up marrying another man in order to have enough money to support her dying mother and young brothers. This left Krogstad lost and embittered, unhappy in his own marriage, and is presented as the reason behind his moral corruption.

-Torvald, who sees Krogstad as irredeemably morally tainted, decides to give his job to Mrs Linde.

  1. Merciless, vicious and callous

-At first he treats Nora without mercy when demanding his money. He argues that no mercy has been shown to him in life.

  1. Unscrupulous and dishonest

-He blackmails Nora with the threat of exposing her indebtedness unless she talked her husband Torvald into giving him back his job at the bank.

-Unless Nora persuades Torvald to keep Krogstad in his job (he later extends this to a promotion), he will tell Torvald about her loan and her forgery of her father’s signature.

  1. Forgiving and remorseful

-At first he treats Nora without mercy on the basis that no mercy has been shown to him in life; however, after Mrs. Linde and he decide to marry, he becomes happier and rescinds his threats to Nora, saying he regrets his behaviour.

-He removes his threats to the Helmers and sends Nora’s bond back to her, relinquishing his power over her.

-After engaging in a conversation with his lost love, the widow Mrs. Linde, they reconcile, and once again their romance is reignited, Krogstad no longer wants to deal with blackmail and extortion. He is a changed man!

-Although Mrs. Linde suggests that he should leave the first letter in the mailbox so that Nora and Torvald can finally have an honest discussion about things, he later drops off a second letter explaining that their secret is safe and that the IOU is theirs to dispose of.

-He has been trying to remake his life after having made earlier mistakes.

  • Although he has been labeled as corrupt and “morally sick,”

Krogstad has been trying to lead a legitimate life. He complains, “For the last year and a half I have not had a hand in anything dishonourable, amid all that time I have been struggling in most restricted circumstances. I was content to work my way up, step by step.”(Pg 75) Then he angrily explains to Nora, “And be sure you remember that it is your husband himself who has forced me into such ways as this again. I will never forgive him for that.”(Pg 76)

  • He is one of several examples in the play of a person being forced into morally questionable action as a result of the rigid and unmerciful forces of society.

    CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Loving and responsible

-As soon as Mrs Linde tells him that she has always loved him and asks him to resume their relationship, he reveals himself as a more loving, joyful and merciful character.

-In matters concerning his children, we find the true measure of the man. Nils Krogstad is a good father and is not afraid of doing whatever it takes to make sure his family is secure.

  • Despite the financial strain that he found himself under as a single parent Nils Krogstad still brought up his two boys as best he could.
  • Although at times Krogstad is vicious, his motivation is for his motherless children, thus casting a slightly sympathetic light on his otherwise cruel character.
  1. Hardworking and resilient

– Here is a man who is a single parent of two boys who is totally unsupported by the society he exists in. He has been dealt many blows by life, first by Mrs. Linde who rejected him on financial grounds many years ago, and then by the death of his wife. He has to work multiple jobs to support himself and his family; by day he is a lowly bank clerk and by night he is a moneylender and he even finds time to write for a paper.

  1. Frank and sincere

-When Mrs. Linde proposes they resume their old relationship,

Krogstad remains truthful and makes sure she is aware of his past deeds as well as what people think of him. He even makes sure she knows about his current dealings with the Helmers.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

ROLE

  1. He advances the plot – Krogstad initiates the conflict by attempting to blackmail Nora Helmer. He serves as a catalyst. Basically, he initiates the action of the play. He sparks the flames of conflict, and with each unpleasant visit to the Helmer residence, Nora’s troubles increase. In fact, she even contemplates suicide as a means of escaping his torments.
  2. Develops themes – Krogstad helps to develop the themes of love and marriage, pride, honour, respect and reputation, money and materialism, parental obligations and individual vs. society.
  3. Reveals character traits of other characters– Through him we are able to know that Nora is secretive and deceitful, and Mrs Linde is traitorous and materialistic for leaving him when he was poor.

NURSE

She is a nurse to both Nora and Nora’s children. Her name is Anne Marie. The nursemaid is an example of a woman in bad circumstances forced to do anything in order to survive.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Kind

-She was forced to give up her own child, who it is suggested was born out of wedlock. 2. Reliable and responsible

-When Nora first thinks of leaving, she considers the fact that her children will be raised by the nursemaid and, remembering what a good mother the nursemaid had been to her, decides that she would also raise Nora’s children well.

  1. Immoral

-She gave birth to a baby out of wedlock,

  1. Irresponsible

-She had to give up her own child in order to take up her position as the nursemaid at the Helmers.

  1. Self-sacrificial

-She had to give up her own child in order to take up her position as the nursemaid at the Helmers. Nora finally leaves her children in her care, believing that they will be better off than they would be with her.

ROLE

  1. Developing themes – She helps to develop the theme of the sacrificial role of women by giving away her child to strangers so that she could concentrate on her job.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

IVAR, BOB, AND EMMY

These are Torvald and Nora’s young children. Raised primarily by Anne, the Nurse (and Nora’s old nurse), the children spend little time with their mother or father. The time they do spend with Nora consists of Nora playing with them as if she were just another playmate. The children speak no individualized lines in the play; they are “Three Children.” Their dialogue is facilitated through Nora’s mouth, and they are often cut entirely in performance.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Playful

-They asked their mother to play child games with them and they played hide-and-seek.

  1. Insistent

When their mother showed reluctance to participate in the children’s game, they insisted until she gave in.

  1. Loving

They loved their mother dearly and would have wanted to spend more time with her and to continue playing children’s games with them.

ROLE

  1. 1. To bring out the character of Nora as a loving mother. She showers them with Christmas gifts and even plays children games with them. When Nora later refuses to spend time with them because she fears she may morally corrupt them, she acts on her belief that the quality of parenting strongly influences a child’s development.

HELEN

She is a housemaid employed by the Helmers.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Humble

-She answers Nora with a lot of humility.

  1. Hardworking

-She does her work diligently.

PORTER

This is the porter who brings the Christmas tree to the Helmers house at the very beginning of the play.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Obedient

He obediently delivers the Christmas tree to the Helmers house.

  1. Grateful

-He thanks Nora for the tip that she gives him. (Pg 1)

  1. Honest

-He honestly states his charges without exaggerating and was already giving her back the change when she told him to keep it.

(Pg 1)

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

NORA’S FATHER 

Though Nora’s father is dead before the action of the play begins, the characters refer to him throughout the play. Though she clearly loves and admires her father, Nora also comes to blame him for contributing to her subservient position in life.

CHARACTER TRAITS

  1. Manipulative

-He manipulated Nora to do according to his wishes and whims. She complains that her father and her husband both treated her like a doll.

  1. Immoral

-Torvald criticizes him as having been a morally crooked man who engaged in corrupt deals.

  1. Insensitive

-The way he treated Nora was too insensitive for a father to treat his daughter.

CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION

ALL DOLLS HOUSE NOTES FORM 1-4 WITH TOPICAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

PRIMARY NOTES, SCHEMES OF WORK AND EXAMINATIONS