“A Doll’s House” as a Modern Tragedy

Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, depicts the lives of people who are tragically bound in their social settings. Two women basically swoop position or roles. Ibsen paints a bleak picture of the sacrificial role held by women of all economic classes in his society. The play’s female characters show Nora’s assertion (spoken to Torvald in Act Three) that even though men refuse to sacrifice their integrity, hundreds of thousands of women have. There is a symbol of revolution that goes on in the play, and that is Nora. At the beginning, she can seem that she is a bit of a ditz. She seems to be happy. Throughout the play, we see that Nora has a lot more going on than first imagined. On the other hand, Linde is a tough, world-wise woman. Women used to sacrifice everything for their husbands and they were not considered to know the aspect of the world.

In the beginning, Nora is a happy wife and turns out to be a tragic character at the end of the play; Mrs. Linde is a tragic widow at first but later becomes a satisfied and content wife. Nora’s world concentrates on the domestic needs of her husband and children, where as Mrs. Linde has struggled through poverty and was forced to survive. Linde is independent. Unlike Nora, Linde is well aware of what life is like without men. These women have different relationships with their husbands. Nora’s husband, Torvald, speaks to her like how a parent speaks to a child. He gives child like nicknames such as “”songbird””, she has more of a childish nature. Nora is more of a submissive role and an object. Nora was raised in such a way that she was required to do whatever her husband wanted her to do. Her important duty was to please her husband. Linde and Krogstad’s relationship are much more open. They can compromise and are treated as equal. Men respect Linde. They think of her as the mature and experienced woman. This duality of treatment towards women becomes evident to Nora at the end of play as Torvald reads Krogstad’s letter. He calls Nora horrible things and it is revealed that he does not respect her, nor love her. Nora leaves her family to become independent as Mrs. Linde. She leaves for her own ambition and goals. Nora wishes to gain the respect she desires. As for Linde, she goes back with her lover Krogstad and is able to deal with him as an independent woman and recovers life. We learned that Linde is a widow. Rather than marrying the dashing Krogstad, she married a businessman, Mr. Linde, so that she could support her sick mother and her two younger brothers. Now her brothers are all grown up and her mother is dead. Her husband has passed away and Mr. Linde’s business went broken after he died. That was when Mrs. Linde showed up to Nora’s home looking for a job at Torvald’s bank. Linde was not happy until she reunited with Krogstad. She willingly jumps back into the role of wife and mother, because it’s the only way she knows how to be happy. As mentioned, it is like as if Nora and Linde switched roles.

By the end of Act Three, both Nora and Mrs. Linde have entered new stages in their lives. Nora chose to abandon her family because she wants independence from her roles as mother and wife. In contrast, Mrs. Linde has chosen to abandon her independence to marry her true love and take care of his family. She likes having people depend on her, and independence does not seem to satisfy her. Despite their apparent opposition, both Nora’s and Mrs. Linde’s decisions allow them to fulfill their desires. They have both chosen their own fates without male influence.

In the end, Nora comes out as a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants. Nora is not only Ibsen’s vessel to display women’s strong character but serves the purpose of showing women as equal human beings. Throughout the interactions of the two women in this drama, the definitive actions of the two women was to step up and challenge themselves for an improvement in their lives, both had to sacrifice.

Works Cited

Conflict between Faith and Doubt in Galileo, www.bachelorandmaster.com/globaldrama/parallelism-and-contrast-in-a-dolls-house.html#.

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