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Analysing Nora’s Comment to Mrs. Linde

Satisfactory Essays
Analysing Nora’s Comment to Mrs. Linde

Nora’s comment to Mrs. Linde that Torvald doesn’t like to see sewing

in his home indicates that Torvald likes the idea and the appearance

of a beautiful, carefree wife who does not have to work but rather

serves as a showpiece. As Nora explains to Mrs. Linde, Torvald likes

his home to seem “happy and welcoming.” Mrs. Linde’s response that

Nora too is skilled at making a home look happy because she is “her

father’s daughter” suggests that Nora’s father regarded her in a way

similar to Torvald—as a means to giving a home its proper appearance.

Torvald’s opinion on his wife’s role in their home is his defining

character characteristics. His unrelenting treatment of Nora as a doll

indicates that he is unable to develop or grow. As Nora’s

understanding of the people and events around her develops, Torvald’s

remains stationary. He is the only character who continues to believe

in the charade, probably because he is the only main character in the

play that does not keep secrets or harbour any hidden complexity. Each

of the other characters—Nora, Mrs. Linde, Krogstad, Dr. Rank—has at

some point kept secrets, hidden a true love, or plotted for one reason

or another.

Nora’s use of Torvald’s pet names for her to win his cooperation is an

act of manipulation on her part. She knows that calling herself his

“little bird,” his “squirrel,” and his “skylark,” and thus conforming

to his desired standards will make him more willingly to give in to

her wishes. At first, Nora’s interaction with Dr. Rank is

correspondingly manipulative. When she flirts with him by showing her

stockings, it seems that she hopes to lure Dr. Rank and then persuade

him to speak to Torvald about keeping Krogstad on at the bank. Yet

after Dr. Rank confesses that he loves her, Nora suddenly shuts down

and refuses to ask her favour. She has developed some moral honesty.

Despite her desperate need, she realizes that she would be taking

advantage of Dr. Rank by capitalizing on his love for her.

When Nora explains that Dr. Rank’s poor health owes to his father’s

promiscuity, for the second time we come across the idea that moral

corruption transfers from parent to child. (In Act One, Torvald argues

that young criminals result from a household full of lies.) These

statements clarify Nora’s torment and her refusal to interact with her

children when she feels like a criminal. They also reveal that both