Helmer’s character in A Doll's House does not change until the very end when his wife leaves him. Nora risks everything for the sake of her husband, without regard to the possible consequences of her actions. Helmer is only concerned with appearances. He just wants to be able to show everyone his beautiful wife. He is outraged by Nora’s actions when he thinks it will negatively affect how he is viewed by society but when he finds out there will be no repercussions he can forgive her behavior. Throughout the play A Doll's House the character of Nora does not truly change. In the end she just decides to be true to herself and stop pretending to be the person her husband expects her to be. Helmer does appear to change but only when Nora is determined to leave him.
From their first interaction we see the belittling way that Helmer interacts with Nora. He refers to her by several demeaning names. To him she is like one of the children. He thinks he controls her behavior, even to the point of what she is allowed to eat (Ibsen 895). He makes her beg for money (Ibsen 894). She is a play thing on display to enhance his public image. Nora however takes a huge risk by borrowing money to help her family without damaging Helmer’s pride. She then spends years saving and working secretly to repay that debt. Helmer has no respect for Nora’s contribution to their home, when she does something correctly he credits himself.
Helmer proudly displays Nora like a doll throughout the play. He shows off her beauty to his friend. He has her dress up in costume and dance around for everyone. He loves her and dotes on her as long as she plays the part of the bubbly brainless wife.
When Helmer learns what Nora did he thinks only of himself “Now you have destroyed all my happiness. You have ruined all my future.” (Ibsen 945) He is only concerned with appearance. He does not consider why she did it. That a pregnant women who was about to lose her father and husband made a desperate...