Krogstadt: Evil or Kind?

     The character Krogstadt in A Doll's House, written in 1879 by Henrik Ibsen and filmed twice in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, can be seen in two different ways. Krogstadt (Edward Fox/Denholm Elliot) can appear to be either evil and grabbing out for money, or kind and looking out for the health of his family. His character, however, is not an evil one. He simply wishes to take care of his children.

     For many reasons Krogstadt can be seen as an individual who is out to harm others. Early on in the book he threatens to tell Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) about what Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) has done. If the secret of her forgery ever got out, she and Torvald would be ruined. In return for not telling Torvald, Krogstadt asks for a small amount of job security. When he receives his letter of dismissal, he decides to tell Torvald exactly what Nora has done. This behavior, at first glance, appears to be that of a wicked person. Upon taking a second look, though, I find that his actions are quite understandable.

     By looking from Krogstadt's perspective, the reader can see the reason behind his conduct. If he loses his job, as he believes will happen, he will have no means by which to support his children. By telling Nora that he will reveal her secret, he thinks that his position at the bank will be safe. He only makes the threat to ensure the well-being of his own family. Krogstadt never has the intention to hurt Nora and Torvald. His only goal is to take care of his kids.

     When the reader begins to see things from Krogstadt's point of view, he can see that Krogstadt meant no harm. Throughout the book Krogstadt was only trying to maintain the happiness

Grant Apanowicz

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