I am doing my paper on Nora's character in A Doll House. The first question is to list three moments or scenes in the play relevant for developing my topic. Give the page number and the describe scene?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Because Nora is the play’s protagonist, she is in almost all the scenes. (Within the acts, scenes are not numbered, and page numbers will vary depending on the edition.) Her character develops through the course of the play, as she must confront numerous obstacles and make decisions about conducting herself ethically and living the rest of her life as a responsible adult. Nora was protected, even coddled, by her family, and since her marriage to Torvald, she has lived a double life. To write an effective character analysis, one would need to decide first the specific aspects of her character development on which to focus.

One of Nora’s principal problems is that she committed fraud in order to get money: she forged a check. She rationalized the fraud because the money was used to help her husband recover from an illness. Throughout the play, details of the fraud, related blackmail, and Nora’s decision about whether or how to own up to it help drive the plot. Following her emotional and moral growth through this particular plot line is one logical way to examine her character. There are several key points. In Act I, in the scene with her old friend Christine Linde, Nora blatantly lies about the money. Later in that act, in her conversation with Krogstad, it is revealed that he actually lent her the money. In Act II, Mrs. Linde is suspicious and accuses Nora of borrowing the money from Dr. Rank, which she rightly denies. Later in Act II, Nora is on the verge of asking Dr. Rank for help, and is stopped only when he reveals she is terminally ill. She next has another scene with Krogstad, where she is so upset about being outed over the fraud that she threatens suicide. In Act III, when Torvald learns of the fraud, he behaves badly toward her, which forces her to decide how she will proceed from that point forward

Another way to approach Nora’s character is by looking at her in relationship to others. The primary opposition she faces is with her husband, who treats her like a child and then adopts a condescending attitude when he claims to “forgive” her for the crime. Following the two of them through scenes they have together would also show the changes in her maturity, all the way through the famous door slam at the end.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team