An Analysis of 'a Doll's House'

1533 words 7 pages
A Doll’s House
‘A Doll’s House’ is widely considered by many to be Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s magnum opus. The play is tightly structured with 3 acts that take place over a short span of three days. Each act contains just one long scene. The scenes are primarily two person scenes that are interleaved with temporary entrances and quick exits by the other characters in the play. Furthermore, the play has a strong sense of unity of action, in the sense that events in the play take place in a causal manner, where each character’s actions on inaction have a significant impact on the course of events that follow. I shall elucidate this point in a latter part of the essay.

The dramatic structure of the play is
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Nils Krogstad is a lawyer who works as a subordinate of Nora Helmer’s husband, Torvald Helmer. Krogstad was previously a employed as a solicitor’s clerk. He also went to school with Torvald. In the past, he was accused of fraud by forgery of a signature and this gained him a negative social image and people like Dr. Rank call him “morally diseased”. However, he claims to having moved on from his past life and that he is trying to make an honest living, as a small post bank worker, to regain his social status. Krogstad’s super-objective in this play is to fight to keep his job and, therefore, his reputation. Krogstad’s motives are selfless because he wishes to clear his image in order to make the lives of children better. He, presumably, does not wish them to grow up while being associated with a father who is hated by their society. In order to achieve his super-objective he has to keep his job at the bank and in order to prevent Torvald Helmer from firing him he resorts to blackmailing Nora to force her to convince her husband. While this portrays him in a negative light, we still sympathize with him because he is a victim of his circumstances. At his core, he isn’t an evil person but in order to better the lives of his children he is willing to “fight for my small post in the Bank as if I were fighting for my life.” We see his good nature when Nora hints at committing suicide and he tries to prevent her from doing so. Krogstad’s


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