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A Topic of Reputation in Henrik Ibsen’s a Doll’s House

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Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House” is basically concerning however folks are usually too connected about reputation in society. Such concern will result in a person’s destruction. Ibsen uses the characters in his play to push the shortage of concern with reputation. Living the life as an individual who worth reputation over something to some extent, shows us that whoever has higher name than others can be trustworthy. In the play “A Doll’s House”, Ibsen shows how Torvald, Mrs.Linde, and Nora worth their name. In the starting of the play, Ibsen displays his disapproval of over-obsession with reputation through his character Torvald in “A Doll’s House”. Reputation is an amazing importance to Torvald, it’s what motivates his behavior and defines all of his choices. Even before any conflict happens, Torvald needs the world to think that his family is ideal. Torvald forces Nora to depart the party early as a result of “she was a success, a tremendous success. Was I supposed to let her stay after that? Spoil the effect? No thank you!”. The reader sees a glimpse of Torvald’s obsession with reputation during this scene. Torvald needs his last impression at the party to be excellent, and once it is, he leaves with Nora whether she likes it or not. Ibsen shows, Torvald is so involved with how his colleagues can read him that he denies Nora any ability to influence him, even though it’s for his best interest. “Your father’s reputation as a public official was not above suspicion. Mine is, and i hope it will continue to be so, as long as I hold my office?”. Torvald is so frightened by the thought of spoiling his reputation that he risks offending his wife and hurting his marriage. Torvald and his traits are viewed as dissatisfactory and undesirable. Through the character of Torvald, Ibsen makes it clear that he criticizes the idolizing of a perfect reputation. After learning of his wife’s crime, Torvald agrees to remain along, acknowledging that “save the remains, the fragments, the appearance”. Ibsen uses this crisis to point out Torvald’s true colors rather than the candy-coated act he had been displaying within the happy times of his marriage. Torvald shows no concern for recovering his marriage during this scene, and he solely cares about how folks can understand his family once his wife is condemned for forgery. As a result of the ending the play ends tragically for Torvald, it’s inexplicit that Torvald was the antagonist. Through his character of Torvald, Ibsen makes it clear that he criticizes the idolizing of a perfect reputation.

Another main character in “A Doll’s House”, that doesn’t care regarding the society’s opinion of her reputation is Mrs. Linde. From the start of the play, Mrs. Linde doesn’t match the standard “woman mold” that Nora fits. She comes to town “to look for work”. Within the time that this play was written, men were alleged to be the workers, providing for the women. However, Mrs. Linde is the one searching for employment, and eventually receiving one at the bank. Mrs. Linde isn’t involved with how society condemns her as an operating woman, she simply needs to create a living with a gradual job. She continues to take care of her tolerance for society throughout the book, and even through once she agrees to marry Krogstad. Krogstad asks Mrs. Linde, “Would you really do this? Tell me – do you know all about my past?” during which she replies with a straightforward “Yes”. Mrs. Linde doesn’t care regarding Krogstad’s reputation, although it’s impure with a criminal offense. not like Torvald, Mrs. Linde chooses love over honor. Ibsen views Mrs. Linde’s action as positive because he ends her story with a hopeful chance. She even acknowledges that she and Krogstad are outcasts from society once she says “Nils, how would it be if we two shipwrecked people could join forces?”. The actual fact that Mrs. Linde and Krogstad aren’t involved with each other’s reputations shows that they’re Nora and Torvald’s opposite.The explanation that Nora and Torvald are opposite of Mrs. Linde and Krogstad is that Nora and Torvald go different ways and ended their wedding sadly is because they’re too involved with their reputations. On the opposite hand, Mrs. Linde and Krogstad end up together, that means that their relationship is the one the audience should model theirs once. Ibsen admires Mrs. Linde and Krogstad’s relationship because they do not base love off of how respected the opposite one is, however rather on what quantity love the opposite is willing to offer. The large concern of reputation that Nora and Torvald had throughout their eight year relationship is what result in the destruction of their marriage. Ibsen teaches through the background that basing the connection of reputation that may solely results in destruction, whereas basing the connection of mutual love and understanding ends up in development and happiness.

Last but not least, is how Nora values her reputation through independence and self-concernment. Ibsen provides Nora redeeming qualities towards the end of the play to free her from the worshipping of reputation. At the end of the play, Torvald mentions that “nobody sacrifices his honor for the one he loves,” within which Nora replies with “Hundreds and thousands of women have”. Nora clearly sees the absurd and futile generosity of her own. During this moment, Nora realizes that Torvald can forever place his reputation on top of her and that it means the world to him. Ibsen uses dialog to create the reader pity Nora and condemn putting reputation first. She sees that “Torvald wasn’t concerned about me but only what might happen to him”. She understands and sees fault with Torvald’s preoccupation along with his image and condemns it. Ibsen’s personal views shine through Nora’s words once she finally confronts Torvald regarding his reputation. She condemns Torvald for being too held in what others think about his outer look rather than acting on his inner character.

In conclusion of this play is that, the character in “A Doll’s House” value their reputation more than others. Torvald was only caring about his reputation where he uses everybody, including his wife to get the reputation that he wanted. On the other hand, Mrs. Linde was another character in the play where she doesn’t care about the community’s opinion about her. She only cared about Krogstad, respecting each other and that is what counts as reputation. Overall, what I am concluding is that people do value their reputation to an extent where they use other people, while some people don’t care about other people’s thoughts about them.

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A Topic Of Reputation In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
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