Dr Rank has been Torvald’s friend for many years and has subsequently become good friends with Nora. Tension created between Dr Rank and Nora because of the flirtation that goes on between the two. “You’ll see tomorrow how nicely I can dance. And you can pretend I’m doing it just for you” That’s exactly what gave me wrong ideas. I just can’t puzzle you out. I often used to feel you’d just as soon be with me as with Helmer. ” Nora is also more natural with Dr Rank and does not have to be so coy around him. This is possibly because Dr Rank does not have the power to make or break her in terms of her wellbeing, status or personal security.
Dr Rank is quite happy to accept Nora for the person she is, and the two of them talk more openly and honestly with each other than either of them do with Torvald. Dr Rank’s friendship with Nora shows us a more carefree and grounded side to Nora’s personality, which adds to the tension and atmosphere because it really emphasises Nora’s false character with her husband. Mrs Linde is an old friend of Nora’s. She comes back into Nora’s life after a considerable absence. At first the tension builds up because you think she has an ulterior motive, but she doesn’t. She tries to help Nora with her secret.
“and it’s quite incredible the things I’ve witnessed in this house in the last twenty-four hours. Helmer must know everything. This unhappy secret must come out” The tension and atmosphere builds up again when Mrs Linde decides that there has been enough deception and lies in Nora’s marriage, and although she can stop Torvald discovering Nora’s secret she decides to let the secret be revealed. The level of tension depends on how you view this action I believed that it was not Mrs Linde’s decision to make, so I found the level of negative impact of Mrs Linde’s moral stand to be quite high.
Krogstad appears to be on the fringes of the story line of the play, however he is actually the catalyst that forces the true relationship between Nora and her husband to be revealed. Without him Ibsen cannot really link the story line together; Krogstad links all the characters together. So even though his role can seem quite small against the back drop of Nora’s raging emotions it is his relationship with Nora (the central character) which Ibsen uses to achieve tension that runs throughout the play.
All characters and their relationship to Nora must be understood as the peripheral to the relationship between Nora and Krogstad. Because he is the reason why Nora is in conflict with her real self and the role she is forced to play for her husband. Ibsen’s use of symbolism in the play is achieved by the following… Firstly the play is set over Christmas, which is generally considered a time for caring, sharing, forgiveness and new beginnings. Nora has this deep, dark secret which will be forced into the open at a time when everyone should be at peace with each other.
Secondly death and ill health play a strong part in the creation of the tension and atmosphere of this play. All the ill health in this play seems to mirror the ill health of the marriage; e. g. Nora’s father’s death made her forge the signature for the loan to help her husband. This was the start of the downfall of the marriage because it was the start of the secrets. ‘A Doll’s House is still relevant for today because it is all about communication and women roles in society, which we are still striving to perfect in the year 2001.
Lack of honest communication between husband and wife or a non-married couple is the biggest contributor to a relationship breakdown. More so now than in Ibsen’s time because women have more independence so it is easier for us to walk out on a partner then it was even 30 years ago. Women have come a long way since the Victorian times. It is easy for us to complain about the unfair treatment that we receive, but it is good for us to read a well-written play like this (and be thankful for what we have) so that we appreciate what we achieve while we continue to strive for better treatment.