It is in life that lies many problems, questions that often remain hard to answer and it only gets easier after experiences and mistakes that we’ve made throughout the journey. This can be applied, too, with the matter of love, since there are so many things we must figure out not on our own, but with our partner: how can we love them in their worst? What are our roles in our relationships? What is the role of love in our relationship? It is in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen that gave us many valuable answers as well as lessons to these questions. This is most evident in the dynamic between the two main couples of the play: Torvald and Nora, Krogstad and Linde.
Through the dynamic of these two couples, Ibsen has first and foremost, given readers a clear answer about the role of men and women in relationships, is that both has duty to listen and empathize each other. For example, Krogstad and Linde might not have a stable relationship since they are in the tangle of can the job offer from Torvald, but what sets them apart most is that they are willing to sit down to figure that out together. What was even more surprising for readers is that it turned out Krisitne wants to get back together with Krogstad because she finds no pleasure in working only for oneself and Krogstad understood her and accepted her love. This prime example is what has set this couple way apart from any other characters dynamics, because they have learnt to value each others’ thoughts, concerns and they were willing to compromise to reach a better ending together. Through this idea, readers can have very straight-forward understanding about the value of listening: if we can not listen to each other, we will not be able to understand what our significant other needs or wants. On the sharp contrast, Torvald and Nora reflects a more unhealthy relationship: not once have they have a serious conversation together in their 8 years of marriage, that is not until the near end of the play. Not only so, Torvald always treat Nora like an object no more or less and his expression of love towards her is something not very genuine. Although it is mainly about Torvald’s part of fault in their relationship, some critics for Nora can be that she never voice her concern with him while always play along the game their game of marriage even though she is not entirely happy at all. Again, it is in this example that readers can understand how honest, open communication matters so much in a relationship.
Not only communication matters in relationship, but the author has also shown that love can be important too, in that they serve as a part of a feedback loop: love and service. Going back to the example of Krogstad and Linde, although Linde’s claim of wanting someone so she can work for sounds rather self-centered, but her intention is still to contribute for a higher and better purpose than her own self. It could then be said that because Kristine loves Krogstad that she wants to support him and because she supports him, she loves him, so that goes both ways.
Overall, A Doll’s House was a wonderful play that showed readers many critical life lessons regarding love and relationship. The general message suits well to whoever seeks to understand what they can do better in their relationship.