• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Dolls House - Is Helmer 'a monster' or do youfind sympathy for him?

Extracts from this document...


Is Helmer 'a monster' or do you find sympathy for him? Helmer is one of the central characters of A Doll's House. At the beginning of the play he is seen as the loving husband, a little patronising, but kind and caring nevertheless. However, by the end of the play our views of him have changed, he is not seen as such an admired figure. Throughout the play there are times were Helmer is a bigot and this gives you a sordid view of his character. Helmer is a typical nineteenth century respectable husband. He follows the rules society has set; this is how he has been brought up. A very stereotypical man of this patriarchal time. You cannot condemn him for this, nor can you dismiss it. He has fitted this role without consideration. Although the people of the time had the desire for social approval, Helmer takes this to the extreme and is guilty of elitism. He treats his wife as a pet "my little squander-bird" and "little squirrel" to use, but two of the many times he speaks of her as more of a possession rather than a wife a person. ...read more.


Money is a key theme throughout the play and ultimately destroys the marriage. Helmer's attitude at the end of the play shows a great deal about him and shows he is a finally monster. Nora is willing to lay down her life for Helmer, but he is unwilling to do the same for her. He does not support her at the time she needs it most and lets her down at the most crucial point. His treatment of Krogstad shows his pettiness and parsimoniousness in very trivial matters. He is embarrassed that Krogstad uses his Christian name to address him, and feels this is inappropriate. "We-well we're on Christian name terms. And the tactless idiot makes no attempt to conceal it when other people are present." This shows he regards how he maybe judged, above what is right. He therefore, considers this to be an apt and suitable reason for dismissing him. Even Nora can see this is immoral and makes no attempt to cover up this feeling, "But it's so petty" this unfortunately annoys Helmer and he immediately sends the letter of dismissal to Krogstad, this shows his power and his control over the situation. ...read more.


This shows deceitfulness and again patronising behaviour. Helmer however, is only adhering to the social morals of the time and therefore, can be sympathised with in a way. He wishes only to protect his reputation, which he has built up and kept unblemished for many years. He obviously loves Nora to an extent, so when she walks out, not only is she leaving him with his reputation in tatters, but also with a feeling of loss. This is therefore a great shock to him and his ethics, causing a scene of tragedy In conclusion, Helmer is a monster in the way he treats his wife, friends and associates. His behaviour towards them is inexcusable and leads us to feel that these actions are outrageous. His pettiness towards Krogstad and lack of understanding towards Nora shows us he is ostentatious. And his dismissal of Dr.Rank and Mrs.Linde gives us another negative view of him. However, he does only adhere to what was socially acceptable at the time, while this may not excuse his behaviour, it leads us to understand it. We may feel a little sympathy for Helmer, but overall he is a self-righteous prig. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Henrik Ibsen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Henrik Ibsen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Nora Helmer vs. Miss Julie - the Role of Women being Degraded by Man

    3 star(s)

    Nevertheless as we discover more about Nora, it is suggested that she isn't as innocent and childish as she seems to be. It is reviewed that Nora, for the first time throughout the play took an action by herself. She faked her father's signature in order to borrow money and pay the trip with her husband that was very ill.

  2. Is 'A Doll's House' a suitable title for the play

    Nora however takes advantage of this, and can be childish and unrealistic. Although Nora is controlled like a doll, she likes to play the role of a doll. "Torvald will you find me a dress to wear for the party?"

  1. Two Men Destroyed by a Secret: A Comparative Study of Oedipus the King and ...

    The lives of Oedipus and Torvald also mirror each other. They both begin the book as powerful prestigious figures. Oedipus is the ruler of Thebes, with a loving wife and many children. He is revered by all as the hero who freed Thebes from the Sphinx.

  2. Investigation of Power in Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'

    However not all of the opening act focuses on Nora's subservience, for example, the device of the macaroons is used to foreshadow the final climax of the play. The forbidden macaroons, that Nora furtively dines upon behind the disapproving Torvald's back, is a demonstration that Nora is not completely in acceptance of her lack of power.

  1. "A Doll's House" deals with the position of women in matters of marriage and ...

    Ibsen himself did not want to be associated with the feminist of the time. The Norwegian Women's Rights League held a banquet to pay homage to Ibsen to which the Norwegian playwright Ibsen was guest of honour. In a speech he gave on 26th May 1898 he said "I thank

  2. "How far Nora is a tragic heroine in Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House"

    Nora even seems to be under the impression that her father was perfect, and she tried to replace him- first with Torvald, then with Dr. Rank. When she realizes her father wasn't looking out for her best interests, sad to say, it's only a short step to discovering that Torvald isn't either.

  1. A Dolls House Use Of Language

    Both Dr. Rank and Nora use short sentences and shorten their words "What other delights am I to see?" "Fiddlededee you don't." In their scene together they both act like a couple of smitten teenagers but, Dr. Rank sees Nora as more than a friend where as Nora has other ideas.

  2. Reviewing a live performance - Henrik Ibsen's : A Doll's House.

    * Towards the end of the play she showed a mature Nora, an almost estranged Nora who acted as though revived from a dream. * Kirimi communicated the vast change the human mind can achieve in a short space of time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work