A Doll’s House
Henrik Ibsen creates many fascinating and compound characters in his play A Doll’s House. Both the Krogstad, Christine, and Helmers have very interesting relationships. According to Ibsen Torvald and Nora have a very weak relationship in which Nora is denied the right to speak and also she lacks independence as Torvald controls everything to the core (3). Though Krogstad and Christine have their portion of issues, they can sort them out like rational adults. Christine/ Krogstad and Nora/Torvald are two basically different sets of people (3).
Torvald’s and Nora’s marriage was the traditional type of marriage where it required a man to make all the decisions mostly when it involves finance and investments (4). In this case, Torvald takes the traditional decision and he makes all the financial decisions except that which touched on Nora’s upkeep allowance the children‘s expenses, and also the house (4). With this in mind, Ibnes indicate n the play that Torvald never respected Nora’s intellect, and mostly she was seen as a child who cants make sober financial decisions. This is contrary to Mrs. Linde and Krogstad’s marriage, which comes from a tarnished past, and are in line with challenging the social norms and the traditional stereotypes (2).
Mrs.Linde having been left a jobless widow following the death of the husband and Krogstad having been found guilty of forgery they are shunned by the community and this is what binds them together in love (2). Unlike Torvald, Ibness brings contrast by showing how Krogstad treats Mrs. Linde. He treats her as an equal in all regards to life and even allows her opinions in matters that concerns finances. Besides this, Mrs. Lnde is also given freedom contrary to what a normal wife in Victorian society is entitled to (7).
Mrs. Linde relationship was built on the foundation of truth, she stood by what is right and according to her honesty overrode secrecy, this is seen towards the end of the play as she tries to bring Torvald and Nora’s marriage into the right path, she tries to make Torvald understand the sacrifices that Nora has made, she furthers goes ahead and advise them to choose honesty over secrecy as this was the foundation of her good relationship with her husband Krogstad (14).
Nora and Torvald’s nature of marriage appears to be a conservative one consistent with the fundamental middle-class standard of respectability (5). Torvald as the head of the house is the sole breadwinner whose purpose of protecting and providing for his family overrides any other thing in life (5). Though Torvald loves Nora so much, Nora is forced to be a submissive wife whose husband despised as she is treated like the trash being called funny names like “scatterbrain” and also pet names like “my little squirrel” which shows disrespect in the relationship (4).
The marriage between Torvald and Nora had a lot of secrecy they were not able to deal with each other in an honest way (8). For instance, when Torvald realizes he needs to rest for a whole year after falling sick, he needed help from financial help from Nora, though his pride took over him and he was unable to ask for help. Nora makes Torvald believe that the trip money is a gift from her father and in a real sense, she forged her father’s signature to get the loan illegally (15).
Linde and Krogstad were initially madly in love. After they got married after a questionable past from both parties, the nature of their relationship is absolutely different from the Helmers’s marriage. Linde can communicate freely without any fear (7). They have no secrets as their relationship is based on mutual respect and they are constantly willing to stand side by a stand.
Nora and Torvald relationship is full of pretense, Nora constantly pretends that she is happy, she works hard by going to the extent of dancing and doing tricks just to put a smile on Torvald face, Torvald, on the other hand, treats her as any other tool or a pet that he possesses (20). Though Nora works hard to get genuine love from Torvald, she gladly takes care of him when he fell ill this does not stop Torvald from despising her and calling her a squandered bird (6). The type of marriage relationship they had was unequal and this could be illustrated by the banality of the dialogue between them.
On the other hand, there is true love between Linde and Krogstad, even after Linde left her for years (8). Linde tells him frankly in his face that he has come to rekindle their love which was never lost in the first place though they never mention the word “love” it is clear from the play that this is the kind of love that may be referred to as perfect. Krogstad doesn’t have to sugarcoat anything or hide anything from Linde, they are very honest and tells each other exactly how things are (11).
In conclusion, Ibsen outlines the fundamental issues which should be considered for a marriage to work, He uses the Character Linde and Krogstad to show us how openness, mutual respect, and communication tightens the bond of the married and on the other hand, Ibsen uses Nora and Torvald to illustrate how bad the marriage can be when couples keep secret and treat each other with disrespect and view a partner as an inferior person.
Ibsen, H. (2018). A doll’s house: A play.