In what ways does Ibsen make us feel sympathetic towards Krogstad?
Henrik Ibsen /
Pages: 2 (782 words) /
Published: Sep 14th, 2014
In the first act of the play ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen, we are presented to many different characters, however, the one that stands out most is the rather out of the ordinary character, Krogstad. Krogstad is a lawyer who went to the same school as Torvald, and has a minor position at Torvald’s bank. Ibsen tries to plot down certain aspects of Krogstad’s life, in which you see both sides of the character, which might make the readers feel sorry for him. With this, Ibsen gives the readers the power to decide which character they would be sympathetic towards the most.
Krogstad’s character is in opposition; although his bad actions seem to push him towards the desire of protecting his children and wife, he is willing to use dishonest tactics to achieve his goals. This leaves Nora in a horrible situation, but his claims to feel sympathy for her and the hard circumstances of his own life drive us to sympathise with him.
At first you can see that Krogstad is like any other person, wanting to keep his job, to know that he is still welcomed some where. This can be seen in the sentence:
“Will you be so good as to see that i keep my humble position at the bank?”
By using the word ‘humble’ he is shown a sense of sarcasm, meaning that he does not actually enjoy working at the bank, but that he has no other choice, it is all he has to keep getting money so that he can take care of his wife and children.
Later on in the first play his character changes. He is presented as a disheartened, wretched man. This is shown in the line:
“Now listen to me, Mrs Helmer. If I'm forced to, I shall fight for my little job at the banks as I would fight for my life.”
Although it this sounds very harsh and quite threatening, it does give him the sense of righteousness. It is the desperate side to him, that no matter what will happen he will keep fighting to keep his job at the bank so that he can survive