Torvald, a former attorney, is a man who strives hard to maintain the reputation of a respectable businessman. He has an excellent job reputation, a great stylish house, a loving wife, and three pretty children. From the very first sight, he seems to be an ideal family man who cares the most about his family. However, later in the story, it becomes evident that the one thing he really cares about is his reputation and image in society. He is a very self-confident person and endlessly is giving others lessons of how they should behave. He pretends to be smarter than those who are around him. Also, he is a very hypocritical person. Hypocrisy may be traced in his desire to fire Krogstad. It becomes evident that all his actions throughout the play are dictated by his desire to have a flawless reputation. Even more, Torvald has never seen the real feelings and concerns of his wife. When everything is alright, he seems to be a loving husband who is tender to his wife. However, when something puts his reputation at risk, he immediately shows his real face and, forgetting about the feelings of others, he starts to care only for himself. He is assured that he is much more intelligent than his wife and, as a result, believes that he should decide for herself. Therefore, he endlessly points Nora what she should do and leads her like a doll. Finally, it is Torvald’s behavior and egoism that lead to the crash of the “dollhouse” and the tragedy the family experience at the end of the play.
Torvald Helmer in the Essays