Analysis of The Play "A Doll's House"

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Done by one Henrik Ibsen, from Norway, the "A Doll's House" is a play which has three acts. The play was published in 1879 in December. The premier performance of the "A Doll's House" happened in the same year it was published, in Denmark, Copenhagen (Ibsen 12). Consequently, the setting of the play is founded in the cultural and traditional beliefs of the city of Circa, in Norway. By 1879, the women in the Norwegian society were overlooked because the culture was exclusively patriarchal, and hence the play focuses primarily on how women in marriage were dealt with and their social fate. Indeed following the grant performance in Copenhagen in 1879, the play soon aroused universal outrage over the controversies of the unequal and highly chauvinistic society of Norway. Indeed, in order to exhaustively discuss the play "A Doll's House", it is not only essential to explore the character of Nils Krogstad and Kristine Linde, but also critical to outline the character of Dr. Rank and how the three influence the course of the play through their respective behavior and actions.

Nils Krogstad

On the one hand, the behavior and exclusive actions of Krogstad significantly influence the course of the play "A Doll's House". Indeed, while Krogstad does not manifest as a villain in the play, he emerges as a great an antagonist across the scenes. He is sympathetic and caring, despite him being the force behind the suffering of Nora. For instance, in Krogstad`s defense for Nora, he says, "Even money-lenders, hacks, well, a man like me, can have a little of what you call feeling, you know" (Ibsen 63). Furthermore, his caring personality is seen when he occasionally pays a visit to Nora, and would from time and again warn her against taking away her life. Moreover, by acting the way Krogstad does, he is witty enough not to mess up his reputation, and consequently, keep his job at the bank so his children may not suffer. Contrary to Torvald, Krogstad has therefore been portrayed as a kind of man in society who cares for the needs of others, and takes care of interests of other people, since his desires are for the sake of his children. Therefore, Krogstad in the play advances the theme of selflessness. On the other hand, Nora and Krogstad are a people who share similar behavior, considering that a similar offense of forging signatures afflicts them. Critically, it is true that Krogstad is guilty. However, society has judged him harshly than it would have been conventional, and thus he cannot make any career progress despite the efforts. Nevertheless, Krogstad is a victim of the prevailing circumstances, because it has been made apparent in the play that he was abandoned by Mrs. Linde, so she could engage an affair with a rich man to enable her financial means. Consequently, it appears as though the society intentionally plotted Krogstad`s downfall by inciting Mrs. Linde and eventually compromising his character so he gets more aligned with Nora. Therefore, in this context, the character and experience of Krogstad in the play has been used by Henrik Ibsen to challenge his audience on how the society can be unfair at times, and mess up the lives of individuals and turn to make it appear as though the affected person is genuinely despicable.

Mrs. Christine Linde

Mrs. Christine Linde has been portrayed as a wise and witty woman in the play "A Doll's House". For instance, Mrs. Christine Linde says to Krogstad that "I have learned to act prudently. Life and hard, bitter necessity have taught me that" (Ibsen 32). In fact, the intelligence of Mrs. Christine Linde Is seen from her children, when she married Mr. Linde whom she did not love but had affection for Nils Krogstad so that she could get a financial platform to support her younger brothers and the ailing mother. Nils Krogstad received a note from Mrs. Christine Linde that she did not have a love for him, and that he was to keep off, hence she has been portrayed as an autonomous woman who makes a careful decision in life to achieve her goals despite the controversial means. Nevertheless, following the demise of her loved one, Mrs. Christine Linde is all alone and her business fortunes dwindled but she has not given up in life. Indeed, Mrs. Christine Linde has gained some form of freedom in her life, since her husband and mother are no longer alive, and thus she does not struggle to provide for anyone. On the contrary, the same Mrs. Christine Linde says to Nils "I want to be a mother to someone, and your children need a mother. We two need each other" (Ibsen 58). Therefore, Mrs. Christine Linde finds no other way to be happy in life, except that she should be married, perform domestic chores, and be a mother to someone. On the one hand, the character of Mrs. Christine Linde appears as one who has been programmed by the forces of society to be limited in decision making and hence culturally embraces marriage blindly, without critically assessing the reason behind family responsibilities. On the other, unlike Nora, Mrs. Christine Linde seems to be in the limelight of what misfortunes could befall her if she does not get married against her odds. Therefore, the role of Mrs. Christine Linde in this play is to challenge the audience to appreciate the unfair traditions, culture, and beliefs of the society, which create a compromising environment for women not to be free and independent in their decision making, thusly paving way for the patriarchal society's practices.

Dr. Rank

Finally, Dr. Rank is yet another influential character who influences the course of the play "A Doll's House". Nevertheless, unlike the first two characters discussed hitherto, Dr. Rank's actions do not immensely affect the outcome of the play. For instance, he falls in love with Nora, but the whole affectionate rumors between the two ends without any dire consequences. Furthermore, when his death approaches, nothing substantial happens as his close allies only discuss him in bits and later carry on with squabbling. Nevertheless, perhaps the sole purpose as to why Ibsen creates the person of Dr. Rank is to leak insightful information to the female folk, including Christine and Nora. For example, concerning Krogstad, Dr. Rank says two the two women, "he suffers from a diseased moral character" (Ibsen 247). Furthermore, he complicates the reputation of Krogstad by claiming that he is both a blackmailer and a criminal. The character of Dr. Rank plays a critical role in the play because he suffers from tuberculosis of the spinal cord. Eventually, he dies of the disease, at the same time when the Helmers' marriage ends. Therefore, Ibsen has used Dr. Rank symbolically to express the ills of society. The backbone of the society is respect for women and children, yet in the society, the play happens at this time and age, a patriarchal culture is what thrives. Consequently, the terminal disease of Dr. Rank shows the possible extreme course of any society that does not uphold social equality.

Work Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. “Ibsen A Doll’s House - Egil Tornqvist, Tornqvist Egil - Google Books.” 1995: 1–350. Web.

August 21, 2023


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A Doll'S House Play

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