Henrik Ibsen a Doll's House

859 Words Dec 28th, 2005 4 Pages
In the play A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen, the convention of marriage is examined and questioned for its lack of honesty. The play is set in the late 1800s, which provides the backdrop for the debate about roles of people in society. Ibsen uses the minor character, Dr. Rank, to help develop the theme of conflicts within society. This, in turn, creates connections with the plot. Dr. Rank 's function in the play is to foreshadow, symbolize, and reflect upon the truth of life and society and to break down the barrier between appearance and reality.

One function of Dr. Rank in the play is to foreshadow events to come. Upon Rank 's introduction in Act I, the reader is immediately given insight into the conflict Nora will face with Krogstad.
…show more content…
This can clearly be seen in what happens after the statement Nora makes about receiving Rank 's calling cards telling of his coming death, "That when those cards came, he 'd be taking his leave of us. He 'll shut himself in now and die" (1604). It is with this extremely symbolic statement that the reader can see the connections between Rank, the death of a society which does not allow honesty in marriage, and the end of pretending by Nora. Almost immediately after Nora makes the statement about Dr. Rank, she decides to perform a final "examination" of her life and lets the letter from Krogstad be revealed. It is through the symbolism of Rank that the reader sees the deterioration of society as it was known by the main characters.

Another function that Dr. Rank serves is that of reflecting upon the true personalities of Nora and Torvald. Rank 's friendship with Nora and Torvald is thought to be the same, yet they are independently different. Nora is able to talk more seriously with Rank then she is with Torvald. This aspect of Rank 's friendship with Nora becomes evident in her statement:

You see, Torvald loves me beyond words, and, as he puts it, he 'd like to keep me all to himself. For a long time he 'd almost be jealous if I even mentioned any of my old friends back home. So of course I dropped that. But with Dr. Rank I talk a lot about such things, because he likes hearing about them. (1585)
From this statement the reader is able to understand

More about Henrik Ibsen a Doll's House

Open Document