To meet the needs of others, characters are often faced with making important
decisions. In A Dolls House, Nora, Mrs. Linden, and the nurse must all make decisions
crucial to the importance of their lives. It is very evident throughout the story that these
women must give up important aspects of their lives not only for themselves, but also for
others.
The nurse is a key importance in Noras life. She has been the only mother Nora
has known. In order to be Noras mother, however, the nurse ultimately had to give up
her own child. When Nora is speaking with the nurse at one point, she asks, How could
you have the heart to put your own child out among strangers? The nurse tells her that
she had to do it in order to take care of little Nora. The nurse plays a major role in the
lives of Nora’s children also. She is responsible for being their mother when Nora is too
busy to deal with them. Now that Nora is leaving, the nurse has no other choice but to be
a mother to these children. Nora is certain that her children are in good hands and will be
raised well by the nurse. By raising Nora, and now Noras children, the nurse seems to
accept the fact that she gave up her own life to benefit others.
Mrs. Linden is one of the strongest female characters in the story. She knows that
work is hard, but it is something she needs in her life in order for happiness. In the final
scenes, the reader discovers that Krogstad and Mrs. Linden were once in love. The only
downfall to this is Mrs. Linden was forced to give up her love to Krogstad for a wealthy
man. Mrs. Linden tries to make Krogstad understand why she had to leave him when she
tells him, You must not forget that I had a helpless mother and two little brothers. We
couldnt wait for you, Nils; your prospects seemed hopeless then. Mrs. Linden has spent
her entire life working to support her mother and brothers. She now realizes that work has
been her only real pleasure in life, and now that her mother has passed away and her
brothers are grown, she needs someone to work for and be appreciated by. This is shown
when she tells Krogstad that she would love to be with him again and have someone to
work for. Nils, give me someone and something to work for. After Krogstad agrees to
continue seeing Mrs. Linden, she is overwhelmed with joy.
In the end, Nora is faced with leaving behind her children and husband. She does
this because she finally sees that something must be done for herself. She tells Torvald, I
believe that before all else, I am a reasonable human being, or that I must try to become
one. Nora knows that the nurse, rather than herself, will raise her children well. She
understands that the nurse can be a better mother to the children at this point in her life.
When Torvald asks if she is taking the children with her, she responds by, I wont see the
little ones. I know they are in better hands than mine. As I am now, I can be of no use to
them. Nora feels it is very necessary to leave her husband. Throughout the story, Nora
felt as though Torvald would rescue and comfort her when she exposes her secret. When
he reacts the opposite way, Nora realizes she can no longer live with him. Torvald tells her
he would do anything for her, but, No man would sacrifice his honor for the one he
loves. This statement is evidence to Nora that she was not first priority in his life. The
only thing he was worried about was how he looked to society. When she decides to
leave, she sees what she was to Torvald. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you,
Torvald. Its your fault that I have made nothing of my life.
This play expresses many themes, one of them being sacrifice. The nurse, Nora,
and Mrs. Linden each possess a strong character, illustrating the hardship they each face
in giving things up to meet the needs of themselves and others.


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