A Dolls House – Nora and Krogstad

Pg 22 – 29


Rank, Nora, Torvald (or Helmer), Kristine

  • Nora and Mr Rank: flirting, she feels empowered (false?) + vulnerable
  • Nora and Kristine tries her influence to get Kristine the job
  • Krogstad is anticipated

Look carefully at movement top of page 17.

Who’s on stage and where are they, and talking to whom?

à Pg 18: “a bad case of that kind in talking with Helmer at this very moment” Then Krogstad leaves

à Pg 20: “Yes, he’s just gone”

à Pg 23 he returns: then the episode begins

Nora is playing hide and seek with the children

  • Close with children
  • Symbolim of the game (hide and seek) in broader adult context
  • Provides cover for the dramatic entrance of Krogstad

Pg 23 stage direction show Nora startled, language shows her unguarded, unprepared, on the back foot. She has to think quickly.

Pg 24 clipped dialogue shows she is readjusting her approach

  • It emerges that he needs something from her: how do they both attempts to assert power?

à top Pg 26 “beyond my power”  “I have my ways of making you” “I don’t think you paid very much attention to all the incidentals”

  • What are these “incidentals”?

à Has Krogstad taken advantage of Nora’s vulnerability at the time her father was dying? Top of Pg 27

These incidentals are the key to two things:

  • Each getting what they need – Krogstad, his job: this is leverage for him and Nora was able to get the money for Torvald

Krogstad took advantage of Nora: “the faintest idea” Pg 29

  • Encourages us to think about justice of the law – right thing vs legal thing

Ibsen leaves this episode with a stalemate, as a stand off where each has a card to play but cannot play if before the other one makes a move.

The question

How does Ibsen use the relationship and transaction between Nora and Krogstad to explore power, secrets and the idea of justice and law?

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