Financial Struggles affecting Individuality
The individuals within the society of Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House, are prohibited from being fully developed individuals, due to social and financial problems. A Doll's House is set in Norway in the late 1800s. At the time, Norway was just hit by a economic depression, making it difficult to find a job, and even harder to get promoted to a high-paying position. Also, sexism was very prominent, and women were precluded from their rights and freedom. Because everybody did not want to face socioeconomic hardships, people like Nils Krogstad, Christine Linde and Torvald Helmer were forced to lose oneself, and the desperate attempt to not get excluded by society lead them to follow mainstream societal values.
Nils Krogstad is a character who harasses Nora, eventually ruining her marriage, and is portrayed as the antagonist of this play, but he is not necessarily a villain. He made a mistake in life by committing the crime of forgery, but his motive for this crime was to protect his loved ones. Under the villainous exterior, he is a respectable gentleman. His interactions with Nora is rather courteous for someone who is a blackmailer, and under the cold-hearted appearance, a human, pure heart can be observed. In the scene where he checks on Nora and talks her out of the idea of suicide, Krogstad says to her: "Even money-lenders, hacks, well, a man like me, can have a little of what you call feeling, you know"(Ibsen 1348). His display of compassion for Nora shows that he is not a cold-hearted criminal, but a man who is just desperate to correct his wrongdoings for the future of his family. In the beginning of act III, Krogstad has an earnest conversation with Christine Linde, who was his lost love. The conversation gets their amiable feelings reconciled, and also pushes Krogstad to have a change of heart, making him no longer want to blackmail Nora. In the end, Krogstad's compassion overpowers his bitterness...
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