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

What is the significance of the sub-plot in 'A Doll's House'; what contribution do Nils Krogstad and Kristina Linde make towards our understanding of relationships within the Helmer family?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the significance of the sub-plot in 'A Doll's House'; what contribution do Nils Krogstad and Kristina Linde make towards our understanding of relationships within the Helmer family? A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen presents the clever employment of climactic plot construction, in which the subplot plays a significant role in aiding our understanding. The plot revolves around relationship dilemmas within the lives of Torvald and Nora. Ibsen has incorporated a sub-plot that serves to provide a contrast with the relationship between the Helmers. The secondary characters of the play, Kristina Linde and Nils Krogstad, have a considerable impact. This essay will consider their significance and the three main aspects involved - direct influence on course of events through blackmail and the two letters; Kristina's provision of an opportunity for Nora to reveal her secret; and the contrasting nature of the relationships - mutuality compared with dominance. A sub-plot can enhance the main plot, and facilitate different perspectives on the central themes in a work. It is often used as a catalyst to develop the action's build-up to the climax of the plot and bring it to the next stage. ...read more.

Middle

Using Kristina in a supporting role, Ibsen has opened the opportunity for Nora to reveal the secret that she has been keeping from Torvald. She is a confidante for Nora and witnesses that Nora is not a child, but just acting to fit into the role Torvald has made for her. The conversation leading up to Nora's revelation offers us a noteworthy clue as to why she reveals her deepest secret to Kristina, whom she has not been in contact for nearly a decade. Nora's appearance and surroundings seem to define her as a winner in the game of life compared to Kristina, and she shows off to Kristina, inviting her guest's admiration of her and the life she has. But Kristina speaks slightingly of Nora, reminding her of her childishness, spendthrift ways and how little she has had to worry about in life, in effect, challenging her, "You're only a baby, Nora!"4 That remark challenges Nora's ego and sets her talking about her forgery to prove how much she has been through and that other people's perception of her childishness is mistaken, subsequently allowing her the only chance to be openly proud of saving Torvald's life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore it lightens our perception of him as a loathsome character. Ibsen ensures that the audience sees only a compilation of Torvald's negative points: his entrenched views of male superiority, him brusquely dismissing his children rather than showing parental affection, and immaturity in facing life's reality; with little redeeming features. The negative impression developed towards Torvald further places Krogstad in a positive outlook; he therefore serves as a foil for Torvald. Krogstad reveals the truth, reforms, and becomes a better man. He tries to clean up his reputation and improve his social standing so that he can be a better father to his children. Although Krogstad is a manipulator, this deception develops into the truth. All the immoral actions he attempts involving Nora end up actually helping her. The position he placed her in made her realize that she needs a change in her life. We can therefore see the importance of the contribution that Krogstad and Kristina make to the play. They provide the audience with a contrasting perspective to that of Nora and Torvald's. There are certainly similarities between the characters, but there are also differences. Both couples face similar problems, especially the need to face the truth in personal relationships. Their problems illustrate the basic theme of social conformity and bring out aspects of Nora's character that are essential to understanding her more fully. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. In Cold-Hearted, David Wong Louie reveals an ironic plot in highlighting a troubled relationship ...

    He compares himself with his friend saying: "He could not imagine his friends and their dads doing likewise in their Electras or Continentals." (Louie, 2006, p. 221). We can also analyze this story by looking at the different characters.

  2. Joe-Clarissa-Jed-ENDURING LOVE. Background information about the character details about family, career

    Did he think I had mocked his faith? Perhaps he had phoned again...". After visiting the Logan family, Joe encounters Parry on his way home. Joe wants to avoid any contact with Parry, almost as if he was disgusted by him, as "I didn't want to touch him."(p129)

  1. Kite Runner Relationships - Are Baba's and Amirs betrayals and similarities in their relationships ...

    housed Ali when he did not have a family, all out of the goodness of his heart; subsequently, Baba thinks of Ali as his brother.

  2. In The Road, the boy, a kid with innocence and the father are moving ...

    time and this helps them go through the difficult times and gives them hope to carry on and not lose hope. "Hard and brown and shriveled. He wiped it with the cloth and bit into it. Dry and almost tasteless.

  1. In "Daddy", Sylvia Plath shows intense emotions towards the relationships she had with her ...

    she was writing in as the psyche of the people at that time was that they started to doubt the existence of God and that they were all alone in the universe. The use of phonetics also contributes to the aggressive nature of the poem, with the use of harsh words like ich' and ach du'.

  2. There are many differences but also similarities between the ways Henrik Ibsen and Thomas ...

    went, the arms of the mechanical reaper revolving slowly......rabbits, hares, snakes, rats, mice, retreated inwards as into a fastness, unaware of the ephemeral nature of their refuge.' Through this description Hardy presents an ambiguous attitude to modernity of the work being done, which results in the death of the animals.

  1. Feminist Perspective on the Role of Lady Madeline in Fall of the House of ...

    The nature of their illnesses also reflect the gender roles of the era. While Roderick?s illness amplifies his senses, Madeline?s disease, described as ?a settle apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person?, dampens hers, reducing her into an ?barely-there?, almost ghostly, individual.

  2. Discuss the significance of jingles in "Equus".

    Alan did not fight back towards his father, when Frank frontally shows his views of television.

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