Role of Minor Characters Within ‘a Doll House’

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Role of Minor Characters within ‘A Doll House’

The role of minor characters in a play is generally to assist or influence the central characters. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, ‘A Doll House’, such minor characters exist, who can change the outcome of the play. Mrs. Linde, a childhood friend of Nora, the protagonist, highlights Nora’s childlike and egotistic state by contrasting it with Linde’s selfless and sensible character. She aids in the development of plot by introducing the idea of self-satisfaction to Nora, whose main function is to fulfill a women’s role in the household. Ultimately, Mrs. Linde can be identified as an important minor character because she aids in the change of plot and character development.

To begin with, Linde functions as an initiator of various important events in the play of which include: creating conflict with Krogstad regarding the new job, plotting the idea of creating a new life for Nora, and persuading Krogstad to forgive Nora’s loan. Firstly, when Linde enters the play, one can see that she has been through a lot in her life, the death of her husband has made her self-reliant and selfish. After hearing that Helmer has secured a new job at the bank, she asks if Nora can persuade her husband to give her a job in the bank, to which Helmer later agrees. As one progresses into the play, one learns that this new job has been taken away from an old employee, Krogstad. This is the same man from whom Nora borrowed the money. Krogstad is in dire need of the job to support his family and restore his honor. As Krogstad interrogates Nora, ‘“now I’ve been written right off, and I’m not in the mood to come crawling back. I tell you, I want to move on. I want to get back in the bank-in a better position.’”(Ibsen, 88) One can clearly see from this quote that the hiring of Linde has created a conflict between Krogstad and Nora. Although not deliberately, Linde has caused Krogstad to use Nora’s secret in order to regain his job for him and his...
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