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Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's - a Doll House

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Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's, A Doll House

In many plays, protagonists are static, and they do not reveal any changes. In contrast, other protagonists are dynamic, such as Nora the protagonist of A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen. Nora Helmer exhibits growth from being naive to realizing she is unhappy in her marriage.

Nora shows her naivete through her competitive, spendthrift, and childish nature. Nora acts competitively with Kristine Linde, seemingly to make Kristine jealous. First, Nora tells Kristine of her recent good luck with Torvald's new job. Nora brags of her good fortune,

Did you hear of the wonderful luck we had recently?... Isn't it? From now on we can live quite differently -- just as we want. Oh, Kristine, I feel so light and happy! Won't it be lovely to have stacks of money and not a care in the world? (1.708).

Once Mrs. Linde tells Nora how she wishes to have enough for "necessities" like Nora, Nora responds by sharing her hard times, again showing her competitiveness. She tells Kristine that she had to borrow over four thousand dollars for a trip to Italy while Torvald was sick. After she and Kristine argue whether or not Nora has had a taste of the real world, Nora tells her that she saved Torvald's life. Nora displays her competitive nature as she brags both of her good luck and her misfortunes to Kristine Linde.

As a compliment to her naivete, Nora exemplifies a childish nature with her children and her husband. She pays attention to her children and plays with them only when she wants to. When she does not feel like paying attention to them, she selfishly ignores them. Even though her children beg to play with her, she refuses. She plays hide-and-seek with the children until Krogstad comes. After she speaks with Krogstad, her children ask their mother to play again, and she replies, "no, not now... I have too much to do" (1.714). In addition to acting childish towards her children, she craves attention from her husband, like a child craving a parent's attention.

Nora exhibits a spendthrift nature which is just another example of her naivete. Both Torvald and Kristien comment on how she loves to spend money. Mrs. Linde refers to Nora as being a "free spender" (1.708). When Torvald says, "Has the little spendthrift been out throwing money around again?... You're never at a loss for scaring up money; but the moment you have it, it runs right out through your fingers; you never know what you've done with it" (1.706). Nora shows that she is not sensible by being carefree with her money.

Nora Helmer grows from being naive to defending herself when she realizes that she is unhappy in her marriage. Once she confesses to her forgery to Torvald, who calls her a hypocrite and a liar, she is quickly forgiven by him. She realizes that in her marriage she has been



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