As in every rule an exception is encountered, the exception in the group
of the Victorian society’s men is Dr. Rank. He is seen quite diminished and
weak due to his illness called ‘Tuberculosis of the spine’ which he inherited
from his father. Furthermore, his bankruptcy emphasizes his appearance of a
miserable person. Throughout the development of the plot the reader has the
impression that he is left alone because of his poverty. Being a great friend
of the Helmer ‘family it is seen within his attitudes that the main motivation
of the frequency of his visits to the house apart from friendship is his love
for Nora. Dr. Rank goes against the values people expect of him treating Nora
as an equal, talking her with high respect, viewing her more as a woman and not
a kid. Moreover, he depreciates the reputation of men in the society getting jealous
or entering a rivalry with Christine scared that the lady will take his place
in the house: “Nora: Oho! – you don’t mean to say you are jealous of Christine?
– Rank: Yes, I am. She will be my successor in this house (..)” (Ibsen 39) A man with that ton of emotion and
consideration for a woman was unbearable at that time period.
As shown above, Henrik Ibsen through
the pages of his novel, manages to show through characterizations and use of
literary techniques the cultural values of the Victorian Norwegian society of
the 19th century. In the case of women, the reader perceives that
although they got the chance to have some “liberty” or not having the same
status at the beginning of the story they all end up heading to the authentic
traditional values and quite fulfill the expectations people had on them.
men, even if a few do not, the reader looking in their actions see that for the
major part they pay great attention to their reputation by enforcing their laws
that repel any woman walk on their own feet. It is seen that the house is the
place where they got to execute all of their power.