How Corrupt A Society Can Become
While a typical society is displayed and is seen as good for almost all the characters presented, moral corruption is a common problem throughout the play. A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen, displays a middle-class family with high stature is seen being torn down by other characterr’s motives to help their own situation. Throughout the play, the theme of moral corruption is displayed through Norar’s attempt to flirt with Dr.
Rank to get a favor, Dr. Rankr’s attempts to confess his love to Nora and take his friend’s wife, Krogstadr’s use of blackmail against Nora, Torvaldr’s image of the poor and willing to fire people based off of their class, and Mrs. Linder’s way of swaying Krogstad to stop blackmailing Nora.
At the beginning of the play, an old decision of Norar’s comes back to haunt her when a coworker of Torvald presents himself as the man who lent her a loan when Torvald was ill. The loaner named Krogstad decides to blackmail to keep his job because Nora forged her fatherr’s signature to send Torvald to Italy. After failing to convince Torvald to not fire Krogstad and after Dr. Rank confesses his love for Nora when she wants to ask him a favor, Torvald finds out about the contract. Torvald is furious with Nora but, Mrs. Linde agrees to be with Krogstad as long as he forgives the blackmailing and sends the contract to Torvald. After Torvald rips up the contract and tries to act as nothing happened again, Nora decides that she can no longer be with Torvald as he had been treating her like a doll and they have never been in love. After Torvald pleads in many ways in which they can live together, she decides to leave him and the kids and go out into the world on her own. Behind every personr’s actions throughout the play is corruption to get what they want and the corruption is thoroughly displayed.
Moral corruption is a constant theme throughout the scene with Nora and Dr. Rank. One of the first ways a character displays moral corruption is through Nora flirting with Dr. Rank. Nora hopes that she can receive a favor from Dr. Rank, one of Torvaldr’s coworkers and superiors, to keep Krogstad at the bank so he wont tell Torvald about her forgery. Her talking to him leads to them flirting with one another and Nora hopes to use this to get a favor. Nora says, Just look at these! Flesh colored. Arent they lovely? It is so dark here now, but tomorrow— No, no, no! You must only look at the feet. Oh well, you may have leave to look at the legs too. (39). Nora flashes corruption by showing off her stocking, something which was very untraditional of her to do to her husbandr’s friend in the time period, so she can eventually ask him for the favor she so desperately needs. Soon after this talk, Dr. Rank shows corruption through the confession of his love for Nora, his best friends wife. Right as Nora is about to ask the request Dr. Rank states, I was determined you should know it before I went away, and there will never be a better opportunity than this. Now you know it, Nora. And now you know, too, that you could trust me as you could trust no one else. (40). Dr. rank displays his corruption through the display of his love for Nora and showing that she should trust him more than her husband. Nora soon takes away the favor she wished to ask and sends him home after both of them have displayed their motives for what they want. While not only this scene shows how Nora and Torvald are corrupt, Krogstad, Torvald, and Mrs. Linde all show examples of their true moral corruption.
During the play, all characters show signs of willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want. One prime example and the main one in the play is Krogstadr’s use of blackmail to keep his job. He goes to Nora at the beginning of the play and tries to get her to convince Torvald to keep him employed. Krogstad says, Listen to me, Mrs. Helmer. If necessary, I am prepared to fight for my small post at the bank as if I were fighting for my life. (21) Krogstad does anything no matter whether it is morally right or wrong to keep his job such as using blackmail on Nora. Torvald also displays his corruption through his reasoning for firing Krogstad. While Torvald even admits he could maybe overlook his moral failings and that he even knows he is a hard worker, he believes he cant have him at the bank due to his informal tone with Torvald at the office. (35) Torvaldr’s ridiculous reasoning for firing Torvald stems to him wanting to have a better experience work exemplifies his corruption even though he can forgive the corruption of Krogstad.
Lastly, Mrs. Linde shows her corruptness, while in good intention, to be with Krogstad to remove the burden from Nora. Mrs. Linde agrees to live with Krogstad as the two used to love together. However, once both of them agree to the terms of her staying, Mrs. Linde decides to send the letter later because she believes that Nora and Torvald need to be apart. Mrs. Linde explains, Helmer must know about it. This unhappy secret must be disclosed; they must have a complete understanding between them, which is impossible with all the concealment and falsehood going on. (54). Mrs. Linde originally goes against her original plan to get the letter stopped in time but shows her being immoral through letting the letter go because she believes that it is best they know. Her assumption that she knows best, while it does work out, shows that she went behind her friends back and shows Mrs. Linde’s own motives. Throughout the play, each character exemplifies the common theme of moral corruption through their actions.
While Henrik Ibsen draws the scene originally of this family living together in harmony, all the characters show their true colors of corruptness. Even though Krogstad’s use of blackmail is the most obvious showing of moral corruption, all of the characterr’s deep down will do whatever they view is best for themselves. Ibsen not only shows how corrupt a society can become, but he also displays an ending in which people can break away from all of that and start again.
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