Analysis Of The Definitive Moment In Henrik Ibsen’s Play A Doll’s House

Drama “A Doll’s House: The definitive moment”

Henrik Ibsen wrote “A Doll’s House” in 1879 and it premiered in the Royal Theatre of Copenhagen, Denmark. (Lee, J. 2007, para 1). The play’s definitive moment occurred when Niles says to Nora: “If I have to lose everything again, then you will go with me.” (Ibsen 2011, Act 1, page 567). This scene is crucial because it’s the final moment of the play.

Krogstad’s statement was supported by the fact that Nora, who had been desperate to save Nora’s husband in years past, had forgeried her fathers signature in a legal business contract. Krogstad even has documentation to prove his claim in court, if needed. Torvaldhelmer, Nora’s spouse, was not aware of it.

Krogstad’s reputation was bad in the world of business. In Act One of the Play, Mrs. Linde refers to Krogstad by saying “They claim he has been involved in many questionable deals.” (Ibsen 2011: Act 1, p.562). Krogstad confessed to doing something foolish years earlier, which costed his job. He also gained a bad reputation in town. Krogstad struggled to find a job and gain respect after this. Mr. Krogstad was able to get a job in a bank, but it was merely mediocre. Nora, Nora’s husband, convinced Helmer (who will take over the bank Krogstad is working at) to give Mrs. Linde his position. Now his job is in danger. Krogstad is not happy about losing his job. He says, “If I lose it all again, you’ll be going down with me.” (Ibsen 2011, Act 1, page 567). He says that Nora must convince her husband in order to keep Krogstad. If Nora fails, Krogstad may prosecute Nora as a fraud.

Torvald’s wife Nora is also a major character in the play. Much of it revolves around the question of whether he will learn about Nora’s fraud and her debt. He would certainly pay off the debt for Nora but would be disappointed at Nora’s long-term deception. Nora would also be forced to confess that she had cheated Krogstad. Nora was not happy about this.

The drama intensifies a bit later, when the decisive moment occurs, proving that Kroonstad’s words to Nora were indeed the crucial moment. Nora, as an example, asked what Krogstad has done to deserve his bad rep. Torvald said, “He faked someone’s identity.” Ibsen, Act 1, p. 568.) This reveals the audience to Nora (and to Krogstad), that Nora’s guilt is the same as Krogstad’s. Torvald says, “A man guilty of such a crime must act hypocritically, lie, and wear a mask before everyone. This includes his own family, including his wife and kids.” The children. Nora, you’re right. That is the worst part of all. Nora replies “How so?” (Ibsen, 2011, Act 1, p. 568)

The dialogue continues to bring drama to a play that would not have been possible without the decisive moment. Torvald goes on to say “Because lies can infect and poison the entire home life. Torvald replied, My dear, I’ve seen this many times in my career as a lawyer. Torvald is unaware that he has told Nora in a way that she will regret for the rest of her life. She was responsible for Nora for signing papa’s forgery, and then keeping this secret. Torvald replied, “It’s usually the mother who has the most influence. However, a bad father could have had the same results.” Nora asked “Why?” This is a fact that every lawyer understands. Now, this Krogstad has been poisoning his children by lying and deceiving. Because of that, I believe he is morally bankrupt. Nora’s promise is to not take his side. Give it to me. What is this? Give me a hand. There, that’s settled. Trust me, I could never work with someone like him. I literally feel sick to my stomach when I’m around such people.” (Ibsen 2011, Act 1, page 567). Torvald tells Nora in this conversation that he is adamantly against Krogstad, not realizing that his wife has committed the same crime. Torvald’s emotional turmoil would increase if he found out Nora did the same as Krogstad. Nora also finds herself in a tough situation, since Krogstad has promised to inform Torvald once he loses his job under Torvald’s command. The play is now full of drama.

Nora’s questioning of her humanity is another aspect which shows Krogstad as a threat. Josephine Lee states that Nora’s freedom and understanding of humanity are closely tied to a modern sense of self-autonomy, property, and ownership. Nora’s sense of humanity is based on the belief that she owns herself, her body, and her art. (Lee, J. If Krogstad’s threat to Nora had not occurred, Nora wouldn’t have left Torvald with her children for them to discover. She would have stayed in Torvald.

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House has a “definitive scene” when Niles tells Nora that “if I lose everything again you’re going to go down with my.” (Ibsen 2011, Act 1, page 567). Krogstad was absolutely right in his assessment of this moment. Krogstad was right in more ways than he could have imagined. This is a definitive moment. This scene defines the rest.


  • ewanpatel

    I'm a 29-year-old educational bloger and teacher. I have been writing about education for about six years, and I have a B.A. in English from UC Santa Cruz. I also have a M.A. in English from San Francisco State University. I teach high school English in the Bay Area.