What is the difference between the conflict and complication in A Doll's House?I am having trouble differentiating between the conflict and the complication, since I think they all occur in Act 1?...

What is the difference between the conflict and complication in A Doll's House?

I am having trouble differentiating between the conflict and the complication, since I think they all occur in Act 1? Please clarify. Thanks

Asked on by noura10

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

To understand the difference between a conflict and a complication, one must first understand each term.

A conflict is the struggle between two forces. Conflicts are typically designated by being internal or external. Internal conflicts are those which exist within a character. Here, a character struggles with them self. External conflicts are defined as being one of the following: man verses man, man verses nature, or man verses supernatural. In man verses man, a character conflicts with another character. In man verses nature, a character conflicts with the elements of nature (like a storm or an animal). In man verses supernatural, a character conflicts with a supernatural element (like a ghost or dragon).

Therefore, in Henrik Ibsen's play (A Doll's House), the main two conflicts which exist are man verses self (internal) and man verses man (as seen with the conflicts between Nora and Torvald, Nora and Krogstad, and Nora and Dr. Rank).

A complication, on the other hand, refers to the compounding difficulties which arise when dealing with the original conflict. For example, the conflict is that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad. The complication is that Nora is having trouble paying Krogstad back and he is going to blackmail her. All of this information is provided in Act One--so you are correct; both the conflict and complication occur in Act One.

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