Adlerian Psychology & a Doll's House

Topics: Alfred Adler, Superiority complex, Inferiority complex Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: August 31, 2008
Alfred Adler is a psychologist who developed a theory that can explain the characters’ actions in A Doll’s House. After many years of study, Adler realized the importance of motivation and how it affected people’s actions. This was later developed into a theory, known as the Adlerian Theory, which states that there must be a motivational force behind all behaviors (Fisher). Evidence of the Adlerian Theory is found in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen through the actions of Krogstad, Torvald, and Nora.

Family and friends are usually the most significant motivation to one’s actions because the concern for his or her family and friends will cause them to do whatever necessary to please them. The influence of family and friends may also affect one’s view of life and this would affect one to act differently in order to carry out his or her new attitude towards life (Boeree). An individual is part of a larger whole, the society, which means that one must to live up to society’s expectations to gain respect and acceptance (The Theory and Application of Adlerian Psychology). This demonstrates how a social setting can influence one’s behaviors. One’s primary goal in life is to gain acceptance and feel significant. The inferiority complex is when one feels a 2

lack of worth (Fisher).To overcome the inferiority complex, one must strive to reach a goal, known as the superiority complex (Fisher). In the process of the superiority complex, one will strive for perfection (Fisher). The determination to be a perfect individual forces one to act certain ways.

Due to Krogstad’s desire to perfect his social status, he realizes the first step is to persuade Torvald into giving him his position back at the bank. In order to do so, he must blackmail Nora into convincing Torvald that he is more capable of the job than anyone else. Without a job, he is seen as lazy and worthless by his society, therefore, fighting for a position he believes he deserves would make others perceive him...
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