A Doll's House

what does a name dr rank implies to and why?

does it imply to a grade,position or status class

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Some people feel immense sympathy for Dr. Rank. Others are disgusted by him. In general it is believed that he fits the meaning and implications of his name. Dictionary.com offers a few vile definitions for the adjective “rank.” It is a word that means, “highly offensive; disgusting; vulgar; or indecent.”

More Than Just Friendly?

Does Dr. Rank fit those negative dictionary descriptions? That depends on how the reader interprets Dr. Rank’s affection for Nora.

Dr. Rank: Nora…Do you think he’s the only one who…? Who wouldn’t gladly give his life for your sake. I swore to myself you would know before I went. I’ll never have a better opportunity. Well, Nora! Now you know. And now you know too that you can confide in me as in nobody else. (Act Two)

One could view this as an honorable love-from-afar, or it could be grounds for a restraining order! Most actors portray Dr. Rank as soft-spoken and well-meaning. He does not mean to be vulgar, but instead confesses his feelings for Nora mainly because he only has a few days left to live.

Sadly, Nora responds to his forwardness by summoning her maid, turning up the lights, steeping away from him and quickly dismissing the conversation. When Dr. Rank suggests that his love is just as strong as Torvald's, Nora recoils from him. She never again looks to him as a possible solution to her problem. The fact that she would consider suicide before accepting Dr. Rank’s endearments speaks volumes about the way the poor doctor is perceived by others.

He Doesn’t Rank Very Highly

Consider one last time the name of Rank. One of the definitions of the word in its noun form is: “a high position or station in the social scale.” Perhaps Ibsen has chosen this name to be ironic; none of the characters place him highly in their thoughts.