What is the significance of minor characters in the transformation of Nora? 

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Drama criticism (in fact all literary criticism) divides characters into major and support characters.  In drama, the major character (Nora) is the one who undergoes changes; the minor or support characters (such as Nils Krogstad) are part of her mise-en-scene, part of her world of influences and consequences.  They change very little, because they merely serve the plot and development (an often-cited example is Horatio in Hamlet, who serves mainly as a devise for us to hear Hamlet's thoughts, through the dialogue between them).  Between major and minor characters are creations such as Torvald Helmer himself, who undergoes life changes as a result of Nora's new freedom.  The significance of the minor characters (Mrs. Linde, Dr. Rank) in Ibsen's A Doll's House is that they represent the status quo, in terms of the woman's subservient role in all of society; her "crime" of forgery pales in comparison with the moral injustice of her position in the world.

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