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A Doll's House Fatherhood Essay

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In the play, “A Doll’s House”, by Henrik Ibsen, the drama deals with the underlying issue of parental obligation and its effect on the lives of the children involved. The play was written in 1879, during a time where it was believed by society that a mother should stay home and take care of the children, while the father provided for the family but had little or no responsibility at home. Although the story is centered around the unhappy, controlled life of Nora, who chooses to leave her family and her role as a mother in order to find herself, her concealed problems stem from her father. Nora’s husband, Torvald, hints at the true issues with fatherhood when he states, “It seems most commonly to be the mother’s influence, though naturally a …show more content…
Although the reader is never introduced to Nora’s father, they are aware that he fell ill and died before the actual play took place. As the reader learns that she is unhappy in her marriage to Torvald, they also learn that Torvald is constantly trying to compete for Nora’s love from the love she has for her father. From the play it becomes clear that Torvald tries to control Nora like a child would a doll. Nora herself has the revelation, “I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa’s doll child; and here the children have been my dolls.” (Ibsen 323). This quote reveals that Nora realizes her husband and father share the same daunting quality of control and that they share a similar relationship. One can also assume from Nora’s revelation that her father must be ill minded to treat his child as items and not human being. Also this quote shows that the apple doesn’t fall far the the tree, because Nora shares the same control over her children that her father once did her. At this moment Nora is essentially blaming her father for putting her in the position to marry Torvald and act as his doll, in his world. She is also blaming her own issues of control to be a direct result from her father as well. On the other hand, Dr. Rank, a dear friend to Nora and Torvald is actually plagued by a disease because of his father’s actions. Dr. Rank makes this apparent when he talks in …show more content…
This is seen through Krogstad, a man who Torvald shares a workplace with and knew when they were young. Krogstad committed the crime of forgery and also helped Nora commit the same crime, which left him with a bad reputation and many believed him to be morally corrupt. Yet, Krogstad was left widowed and in charge of taking care of his sons, who Torvald believes are becoming more corrupt each second they spend with there father. Krogstad talks about his legal situation with Nora saying, “My sons are growing up; for their sake I must try and win back as much respect as I can in the town.” (Ibsen 289). Krogstad is desperately trying to right his wrongs in order to lay a strong foundation for his son’s future, but people like Torvald make it hard to leave the past in the past. So, Krogstad is depicted in the drama as a corrupt father, who is desperately seeking forgiveness in order to be the best provider he can be for his son’s. Torvald himself can be seen as a corrupt father, because he is consumed by how others perceive him and wants to climb the social rankings in his community. While Torvald spends time worrying about his reputation, he puts his children on the back burner. Nora tells Torvald of the forged bond she signed in order to support him while he was sick. Torvald immediately becomes concerned about how

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