Christine Linde, addressed simply as Mrs. Linde, is yet another secondary character in the play. She is an old friend of Nora’s, and understands Nora better than anyone else. She is a practical, mature, loyal, helpful woman with an excellent sense of judgment.
Christine has lived through a difficult past, with a sick mother and two brothers to take care of. Her responsibility towards them and the urgent need for money compels her to break off her relationship with Krogstad to marry someone wealthier instead.
Her husband and mother both soon pass away, and her brothers become independent and capable of handling themselves, leaving her with no one to take care of.
Thus she presently feels “unspeakably empty” as she has no one to live for any more. Kristine comes to Nora seeking a job, and is soon given a position at the Bank by Helmer, which coincidentally belongs to Krogstad.
Christine is a very supportive friend to Nora, and understands her very well. She recognizes that the relationship between Nora and Helmer is one of “concealment and subterfuge.” She knows about Nora’s forgery, and the situation she is in. She tries to advice Nora to tell Helmer the truth, as she feels it is the most practical thing to do.
When Nora disagrees to do that, she takes the drastic step of trying to convince Krogstad to take back the letter, or to write an apology to Helmer. In this process, however, she also ends up reuniting with him. “Nils…suppose we two shipwrecked people could join forces?” She thus finds a person to live for, and two children to take care of.
Christine, in many respects, is quite the opposite of Nora. In contrast to Nora, she is blunt, direct, bold and unafraid. She is not manipulative and does nothing to hide her true feelings.
When Nora tells her about her difficulties in life, despite showing empathy towards her, she tells her that she knows “so little about the troubles and hardships of life.” When Nora remarks that Christine is too “proud” of her achievements, she shows no hesitance in admitting that she is.
“Of course I’m proud- and glad- to know that I was able to make Mother’s last days a little easier.” She is also very independent, and has always worked for her own self. Unlike Nora, who displays a craving towards personal freedom and the fulfillment of her duties to herself, Mrs. Linde exhibits a strong desire to work for others, to have a husband and children to live for.
Mrs. Linde is also a good judge of character, which is why she understands Nora and the other people around her so well. She is also the only person who sees through Krogstad’s selfishness and understands him more deeply. She gauges by Dr. Rank’s behavior that he might be insincere, and asks Nora, “…doesn’t he rather like saying things to please people?”
She is very observant of the people around her, and often tries to fit missing pieces together by judging people’s character. Mrs. Linde, like Krogstad, also acts as a catalyst to bring out the true colors of Nora and Helmer’s relationship. She calls out Nora for acting like a child, and advises her to tell her husband the truth.
Thus Mrs. Linde is an important character in the story, loyal, trustworthy, helpful, honest, practical, independent, and intelligent.
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