A theme that Ibsen explores in A Doll's House is the idea that weakness and corruption are passed in the blood from generation to generation... Examine this theme in connection with Krogstad and his sons, Nora and her children, Nora and her father and Dr. Rank.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is interesting that one meaning of the word rank is festering or putrid. It is as though the moral corruption of Dr. Rank's father has festered in him, causing him to develop a degenerative disease that will kill him. His life has putrefied as a result, stunted by his knowledge of his condition; in a very real way, then, the sins of the father are visited upon the son.

Torvald, of course, believes that "nearly all cases of early corruption may be traced to lying mothers." This is why, once he learns about Nora's past indiscretion with the loan, he declares immediately that she will not be allowed to raise or even see their children anymore. Torvald also says, "Krogstad [has] been poisoning his own children for years . . . by a life of lies and hypocrisy—that is why I call him morally ruined." However, Nora has not been corrupted by her father; in fact, she is so incredibly loving toward her husband that she is willing to risk just about anything to protect him—that's why she took out the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 620 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team