The Family Problem in “A Doll House”


A Doll House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, is rightful of the most exciting dramas about women’s happiness. Many kinds of people were introduced throughout the whole drama. While the drama is not significant in size, the actions change so dramatically. As a result, many people fail to build the chain of events. The plot was based on a true story, which makes the drama even more fascinating. What is more, the work’s main theme is to represent the tough female struggle in the real world. The variety of situations also introduces this work from another perspective. In contrast, the central scenes occur in one place without changing it the whole time. There are also many personal conflicts, such as Nora’s unhappy marriage and Krogstad’s dismissal. Throughout the drama, the author illustrates by analyzing the main character’s portraits why it is impossible to build a strong partnership in one couple and how the idealistic marriage could occur in another one.

The Only Reason for an Unhappy Marriage

To begin with, there is only one reason why Nora and Torvald failed to build a genuine marriage. Torvald’s main treat of character is parsimony, which ruined his and her life. A wish for money made this person arrogant and abusive to his wife. That is why he constantly admonishes her for any reason (1.1704). Nevertheless, Nora loves him and tries to avoid the money questions and live happily for just some moments (1.1705). For example, while her husband works in a bank, this poor woman borrows money to bring gladness to the home. Consequently, the husband’s parsimony, combined with a genuine love for her wife, made the marriage “a game into one side.”

A Possible Variant of an Ideal marriage

On the other hand, the theoretically “correct” marriage could be observed in Krogstad and Mrs. Linde. Having a job in a bank, Krogstad was a great example of how a person should be responsive to others. While working in a financial entity, where there is no place for compassion, Krogstad lent Nora due to her husband’s tough health situation (1.1719). As a result, it may be assumed that Krogstad is a noble person from the professional as from the human perspective. Furthermore, Mrs. Linda embodies only the best traits of character in this drama. For instance, when Nora had some individual debt issues, Kristina was the first human being who helped her in such a problematic situation (1.1710). Eventually, Mrs. Linda and Krogstad have character traits that despite their life goals being different to the extent that their marriage could not succeed.

The Main Obstacle to the Way to Happiness

Throughout the whole drama, men were described negatively in some situations. A bright example might be a scene when Helmer criticizes his wife. Nora had a big wish of doing presents. However, she was strictly criticized for these actions due to her inability to have the right attitude to money. While Torvald’s main drawback was his parsimony, Krogstad was described as an unholy person in business (1.1717). Both treats of character might be an example of how men misaligned their family and social position and, instead of helping Nora, made her situation even worse. Thereby, this may be the biggest reason for living in an unhappy marriage.


To conclude, the author gave a bright example of an unhappy marriage and rounded a possibly ideal marriage, describing the character’s portrait. Firstly, there is Helmer, whose main drawback is his parsimony, and it interferes with him being a noble person. Consequently, Nora and Helmer could not become a happy couple. On the other hand, Krogstad possibly could become a great husband, while Mrs. Linda possesses only the best qualities, which makes her an ideal wife so that this marriage might become happy. However, the main obstacle standing in front of a joyful marriage lies in the men’s characters: parsimony and unholy behavior.


Mays, Kelly. The Norton Introduction to Literature, 13th ed., W.W. Norton, 2019.

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