Mrs Christine Linde: Character Study
Mrs Christine is an old friend of Nora. We meet her in the very first Act when she comes to see Nora at her house. Mrs Linde’s problem is that she has nobody to live with. She tells Nora that she wants something to occupy her mind, a steady job for instance. Nora tells her that her husband might be able to arrange a job for her. Mrs Linde feels grateful to Nora for extending a helping hand to her.
Mrs Linde, then, tells Nora that she has no regrets because, even though she had been forced by circumstances to work very hard in the past, she used to feel both proud and happy to think that she was able to make her ailing mother’s life a little easier and was able to put her younger brothers on their feet.
Initially, she was backed by Nora but after securing a good position in bank she acts strangely, though to some extent, to Nora. It is she who suggests Krogstad not to withdraw his previous letter but let Helmer know the whole thing, even though Krogstad was willing to withdraw the first letter. If Mrs Linde had allowed Krogstad to withdraw the letter, Helmer would not have come to know the true facts, and there would have been no crisis in the conjugal life of Nora and Helmer.
Mrs Linde’s presence in the play also brings variety to the characterization. There are only a few characters in the play, and if Mrs Linde had not been a part of it, the play would have suffered greatly in respect of its portrayal of characters and human relationships. She is useful as a kind of contrast to the character of Nora. While Nora at the outset is somewhat immature and girlish in her behaviour and is living in the world of illusion, Mrs Linde has already passed through the vicissitudes of life and has attained maturity. Furthermore, Nora is walking out of her husband‘s house to face an uncertain future, whereas Mrs Linde is going to marry Krogstad in order to settle down to a life of security.
Mrs Linde offers a contrast to Nora in another respect also. Nora has been hiding the fact of the loan from her husband. Even though this secrecy on her part is promoted by good motives, yet it involves an act of deception on her part. Mrs Linde in Act three urges Nora to disclose the secret to Helmer but Nora refuses to do so, whereupon Mrs Linde says that Helmer will learn the fact from Krogstad’s letter. Thus Mrs Linde advocates openness and truthfulness as against Nora’s secrecy which involves deceit.
Mrs Linde thought that Nora and Helmer should face the facts so that they may come to some sort of understanding. Mrs Linde thus represents a high moral principle by supporting the claims of truth as against falsehood.