Compare and contrast Nora and Kristine in A Doll's House.How can they be similar & different? I`d really appreciate any help!Thanks in advance

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kristine Linde acts as a foil to Nora, highlighting certain character traits which Nora has. Though initially a minor, somewhat insignificant character, Kristine comes to perform a crucial role in the play's eventual plot development. As well as providing an opportunity for Nora to reveal some of her innermost thoughts, Kristine's own revelations concerning Krogstad contribute to exposing Nora's marriage for the sham that it is.

Over the course of the play, Nora and Kristine experience a radical role reversal. Initially, Nora appears to be a blissfully happy married woman, whereas Kristine is a tragic widow, an object of pity. Yet by the time we've reached the end of A Doll's House, all that's changed dramatically. Nora's marriage is in tatters, and Kristine is happily daydreaming about a life of wedded bliss with Krogstad.

The similarities between Nora and Krogstad are few and far between. Both could be described as somewhat naive in the ways of the world. The difference, however, is that Nora eventually grows and matures as a woman, indicating a marked willingness to learn about the big old world outside after she's closed the door behind her. Katrine, on the other hand, is willing to embrace the traditional role of housewife, occupying—in fact, if not in substance—the same position in Krogstad's life as Nora once did in Torvald's. Nora, for all her travails, is still young and beautiful; Kristine is middle-aged and plain. The symbolism is unmistakable—Nora stands for the future, Kristine for the past.

One noticeable difference between the two women lies in their respective abilities to manipulate men to get what they want. Try as she might, Nora cannot get through to Torvald, cannot make him see her point of view or get him to respect her needs. Kristine's much more successful with Krogstad. She is the one who persuades him to let Torvald read the letter explaining Nora's deception. Her complete domination of Krogstad stands in stark contrast to Nora's position within her own marriage. It is ironic indeed that Nora can only experience the kind of control that Kristine enjoys by leaving her husband and children behind. Yet Kristine can continue to get Krogstad to do whatever she wants within the confines of an impeccably conventional, respectable marriage.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nora: A young woman who married very early and had children also very early in her life. She had basically been her husband's play toy, always trying to outdo herself by entertaining him, not by nurturing him. She is a nurturer, though, but she had not been allowed to blossom as one: When she took care of her father and obtained money to help her husband's health, she was never appreciated for it. So, since the only way she felt attention and appreciation was by playing the role of a dolly, that is what she became to everyone. She shows herself as shallow, airheaded, clueless at times. She doesn't seem to appreciate the value of things, and she is no mature enough to understand consequences. She lives a life of fantasy expecting that one day a miracle will happen and her husband will see her for who she is. In the meantime, she continues to play around her house like the doll she has become.

Kristine is the antithesis of Nora. A woman who has done nothing but nurture in her life, is now alonw. Her husband dead, her children gone, she has been down and out of luck for a while. She comes to Nora to ask for a little bit of help finding a job on Torvald's bank. She does appreciate what little life gives us because she, herself has only had that: very little. She is the mind and conscience of Nora, and she tolerates but advices her into telling Torvald the truth. She sees the superficiality of Nora and Torvald's marriage. Her friendship to Nora is so big that she rather see Nora exposed and freed from Torvald than still living under that farce.

In the end, the two women were alike in that both recognized how little society had to offer them. Nora left her family, indignant, dissappointed, and quite broken. This is what Kristine had known all their life. If anything, the one thing the two women have in common is that society views them as second class citizens.