Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Doctor In The House Essay -- essays research papers

A Doctor in the House Henrik Ibsen's character, Dr. Rank, in "A Doll's House" is an important component of the play, though he is not a lead character. Rank enhances the story in his own right as a character, but mainly serves a greater purpose as an accentuation of Nora'a character. Nora's relationship with Rank is equal, and perhaps it implants in Nora's mind the idea that relationships should be equal. Their relationship brings up questions about social correctness and even the values necessary in a marriage. Essentially, Dr. Rank's purpose is to refine the audience's understanding of Nora's character. Dr. Rank's presence establishes the lack of communication between Nora and her husband. Nora confides in Dr. Rank, involving him in secrets and everyday conversation. For instance, Rank is the first character to be let in on Nora's secret plan to take Helmer on a "vacation," supposedly paid for by her father. Also, Rank refers to Christine Linde as "a name I have often heard in this house," when Helmer is virtually unaware of Linde's existence (Ibsen 542). The quote further indicates Rank and Nora share things in which Helmer is not included. Rank is like a messenger for the couple on one occasion when Nora finds out about Helmer's new job from the doctor. Nora asks Rank, "Tell me Dr. Rank--will everyone who works at the bank come under Torvald now?" (542). These conversations help to conclude that most of Nora's meaningful and informative conversation is not with her own husband. Furthermore, the doctor encourages Nora to confide in him; "You can say it to us†¦say it, here he is," says Rank, urging Nora to do as she wishes around him (542). Nora seems to divulge her thoughts to Rank and not Helmer, relaying an inward struggle in Nora to do as she wishes. She lies to Helmer about the macaroons, but hastily reveals her hidden snack to the doctor. Rank and Nora's relationship shows Nora's longing for independence from Helmer and society's rules. Even Mrs. Linde, a relatively liberated woman, feels Nora's intimate relationship with the doctor is curiously inappropriate. Linde is shocked that Nora would speak with Rank about the debt behind Helmer's back, to which Nora replies, "I've got to get out of this other busine... ...ra's father, and then subsequently, how they see Nora. Ibsen makes the hereditary flaws available in Rank in order to make the theme clear. While Rank's flaws end with his death, Nora's bad traits threaten to rub-off on her children, continuing the line of bad heredity. According to Helmer, Rank's dark life "accentuates the light of their marriage," but the importance of the character, Dr. Rank, is to accentuate the darkness of Nora's life. Rank's life parallels Nora's situation until the role reversal at the end. Throughout the play, both suffer the consequences of morally corrupt fathers; Nora has her secret debt and Rank with his illness. Rank's announcement of death also marks the end of the masquerade, literally and figuratively speaking: Nora's masquerade of a content marriage is over as well as the ball that are her last moments of "fun." Instead of dying when Rank dies, however, Nora is reborn as an independent woman in society. Her situation may again parallel Rank's; there is uncertainty associated with death as there is definite uncertainty as to Nora's fate.

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