A Doll's House

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Kristine Linde Character Analysis

Mrs. Linde, as she is generally known to the other characters, is an old friend of Nora's. She is a woman whose marriage was loveless, and based on a need for financial security, and who doesn’t have any children. She and Krogstad had been in love at the time, but he was too poor to support her family. She arrives in town in search of a job in order to earn money and survive independently. In this way, she is a fairly modern woman; towards the end of the play, she explains to Krogstad that she finds joy and meaning in work. However, in other ways she is more traditional. She tells both Krogstad and Nora that she is miserable without other people to take care of, thereby fitting into the traditional role of women as caretakers and nurturers. It is this conviction that causes her to marry Krogstad towards the end of the play. She believes very deeply in honesty and stops Krogstad from taking the letter he wrote to Torvald back, thereby ensuring that Torvald find out about Nora’s secret. Although this at first seems like a betrayal of Nora, it turns out to ultimately be a decision to Nora’s benefit as it is after Torvald finds out about the debt that Nora is able to see the true nature of her marriage. This twist confirms Mrs. Linde’s belief that honesty is always better than deceit, even if Mrs. Linde's expectation was that it was Nora's deceit that needed to be exposed, not the shallowness of Torvald's feelings.

Kristine Linde Quotes in A Doll's House

The A Doll's House quotes below are all either spoken by Kristine Linde or refer to Kristine Linde. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Oxford University Press edition of A Doll's House published in 1998.
Act Three Quotes

What else is there to understand, apart from the old, old story? A heartless woman throws a man over the moment something more profitable offers itself.

Related Characters: Nils Krogstad (speaker), Kristine Linde
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Linde has invited Krogstad to speak with her at the Helmers' house while they are out, but Krogstad seems reluctant, saying that they have nothing to say to each other. At this moment it is revealed that Mrs. Linde and Krogstad once planned to marry, but that Mrs. Linde ended up marrying another man. Krogstad's comments show that he is still embittered all these years later, and that he thinks Mrs. Linde chose to marry someone else out of greed. 

Krogstad's harsh judgement of Mrs. Linde's actions reflect the stereotype of women as frivolous and materialistic, in the same way as Nora is thought to be a "spendthrift" obsessed with luxurious possessions. Krogstad refers to "the old, old story" of women choosing to marry rich men, implying that this was a common understanding of women's behavior at the time. This stands in stark contrast to the point made by Ibsen throughout the play that women are left vulnerable by their low economic and financial status, forcing them to make decisions they would not otherwise choose. 

Indeed, it is revealed that Mrs. Linde married another man because she had to take care of her mother and two brothers. Once again, what appears to be greed is in fact a selfless, strategic choice, directly echoing Nora's decision to borrow money for the trip to Italy.

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Without work I couldn’t live. All my life I have worked, for as long as I can remember; that has always been my one great joy. But now I’m completely alone in the world, and feeling horribly empty and forlorn. There’s no pleasure in working only for yourself. Nils, give me somebody and something to work for.

Related Characters: Kristine Linde (speaker)
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Linde has suggested that she and Krogstad marry, and tries to convince Krogstad by explaining that her life feels meaningless without anyone to work for and take care of. Here Mrs. Linde embodies a traditional idea of womanhood, which poses that women mostly find meaning in life through selfless acts and caring for others. Unlike Nora, who feels ambivalent about a life totally dedicated to her husband and children, Mrs. Linde is fully committed to this path. This is evidenced not only in her speech to Krogstad but also in her original choice to marry a wealthier man in order to financially provide for her mother and brothers, as well as her continued support for Nora throughout the play. 

By including Nora and Mrs. Linde's differing attitudes toward this model of selfless womanhood, Ibsen shows that women do not have one single relationship to femininity and traditional values. The message of the play is not that all women should live independent, individualistic lives as Nora eventually decides to, but rather that women should be able to choose based on their own preferences. 

Helmer must know everything. This unhappy secret must come out. Those two must have the whole thing out between them. All this secrecy and deception, it just can’t go on.

Related Characters: Kristine Linde (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

In a brief moment alone, Mrs. Linde reassures Nora that she has spoken to Krogstad and that he no longer plans to blackmail her, but insists that Nora must still tell Torvald the truth. This shift in stakes emphasizes the theme that deception is unsustainable and that it will inevitably lead to disaster. Also Mrs. Linde, having previously behaved as a rather passive source of support for Nora, now enacts a pivotal moment of agency, greatly affecting the fates of the other characters. This scene could also be interpreted as a moment in which Mrs. Linde forsakes her allegiance to Nora specifically and instead allies herself with the institution of marriage, and the principle of honesty between husband and wife. 

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Kristine Linde Character Timeline in A Doll's House

The timeline below shows where the character Kristine Linde appears in A Doll's House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
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The play opens to a nicely decorated living room. The doorbell rings. Nora Helmer enters though... (full context)
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Torvald Helmer calls from his study, asking if Nora has just returned home and calling her... (full context)
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Nora suggests they could borrow money and pay it back after Torvald receives his paycheck. Torvald... (full context)
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Nora concedes: just as you say, Torvald. Torvald, not wanting to see her sulk, gives her... (full context)
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Nora shows off the presents she has bought for the children (a doll for her daughter;... (full context)
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Torvald says that Nora is looking guilty and asks several times if she went to the... (full context)
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Torvald and Nora look forward to the evening, while recalling earlier Christmases when they didnt have... (full context)
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Dr. Rank and an unnamed lady arrive. Torvald says he does not want to receive visitors,... (full context)
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Torvald exits to meet Dr. Rank in his study, while the lady, wearing traveling clothes, is... (full context)
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Nora asks if Mrs. Lindes husband left her any money or children, and Mrs. Linde confirms... (full context)
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Nora asks to hear about Mrs. Lindes life, but before Mrs. Linde can say anything, Nora... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde says she remembers Nora being a spendthrift in their school days, and Nora admits... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde says she knows that Nora and Torvald spent a year in Italy, and Nora... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde asks about Dr. Rank, wondering if his visit means Torvald is still in bad... (full context)
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Nora asks if it is really true that Mrs. Linde did not love her husband, and... (full context)
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Nora says Mrs. Linde must feel relieved, but Mrs. Linde says she feels empty and purposeless... (full context)
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Nora promises to help persuade Torvald to give Mrs. Linde a job. Mrs. Linde thanks her,... (full context)
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Nora mentions that Mrs. Linde is proud of having been able to look after her mother... (full context)
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Nora at first wont reveal how she acquired the money, delighting in keeping Mrs. Linde in... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde, worried, asks if Nora has done something rash. Nora says that she saved her... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde asks if Torvald ever found out about the money, and if Nora ever confided... (full context)
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Nora asks what Mrs. Linde thinks of her now that she knows about her secret, and... (full context)
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Nora goes on to explain that she supplemented the savings from her allowance by doing copying... (full context)
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The doorbell rings. The maid announces that it is someone to see Torvald, but that she... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde asks Nora who it was at the door. Nora replied that it was Krogstad.... (full context)
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Dr. Rank enters. Nora introduces him to Mrs. Linde. Mrs. Linde says they came in to... (full context)
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Nora, breaking the tension, says that Dr. Rank is as keen to live as anybody. Dr.... (full context)
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Nora suddenly bursts out laughing and Dr. Rank inquires what she laughing about, asking if she... (full context)
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Nora offers Dr. Rank a macaroon. He says he thought they were forbidden in Noras house.... (full context)
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Torvald enters and Nora quickly hides the macaroons. Nora asks if Torvald got rid of Krogstad,... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde, Torvald, and Dr. Rank all go to leave. As they go, Nora asks that... (full context)
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Nora talks to her children, who tell her what theyve been doing outside. The nursemaid offers... (full context)
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The door half opens. Krogstad stands in the doorway, waiting. Eventually he announces himself. Nora jumps... (full context)
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Krogstad says that he saw Torvald walking down the street earlier with a lady. Nora asks... (full context)
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Krogstad asks in a more polite tone if Nora will use her influence to his advantage.... (full context)
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Krogstad says he knew Torvald in their student days and is sure he is no more... (full context)
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Nora says she cannot help Krogstad; he insists that this is only because she doesnt want... (full context)
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Krogstad remarks that either Nora doesnt have a good memory or she doesnt know much about... (full context)
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Krogstad tells Nora how dangerous it was for her to admit to signing her fathers name,... (full context)
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Nora, alone, tells herself that Krogstad is just trying to scare her. The children stand in... (full context)
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Nora decorates the tree, still talking to herself, saying everything Krogstad has said is nonsense and... (full context)
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Nora continues to decorate the Christmas tree and tells Torvald she is excited for the Stenborgs... (full context)
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Nora strokes Torvalds hair and says that if he werent so busy shed ask him to... (full context)
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Nora casually asks what Krogstads crime was. Torvald replies that it was forgery, and asks if... (full context)
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Torvald says a man like Krogstad will forever have to lie, even to his own family,... (full context)
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Nora backs away from Torvald, saying she feels hot. Torvald gets up and says he must... (full context)
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Nora repeats to herself its impossible. The nursemaid calls saying that the children keep asking if... (full context)
Act Two
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The curtain opens to the same room, with the Christmas tree now stripped and bedraggled. Noras... (full context)
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The nursemaid enters, carrying a large cardboard box. She announces that it is the box of... (full context)
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Nora asks how the children are, and the nursemaid replies that they are playing with their... (full context)
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Nora begins unpacking the box, but quickly throws it down. She mutters to herself about wanting... (full context)
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Nora tells Mrs. Linde she would like her help with her costume for the fancy dress... (full context)
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Nora remarks that Torvald knows how to make the home nice, and Mrs. Linde says that... (full context)
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Nora explains that Dr. Rank was Torvalds best friend as a boy and is also a... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde chastises Nora, saying she is still a child and that she must stop all... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde points out that Noras own husband would be able to cope with the matter,... (full context)
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Nora goes to meet Torvald and says shes been longing for him to come back. She... (full context)
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Nora stops him, and asks that if a little squirrel (referring to herself) asked nicely would... (full context)
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Torvald says he hopes Nora is not referring to the conversation they had that morning about... (full context)
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Nora insists that Krogstad is capable of great evil, implying he could destroy the peace and... (full context)
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Torvald says that there is another reason, separate from Krogstads history of bad behavior that makes... (full context)
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Nora desperately begs Torvald to get the letter back, for the sake of himself and the... (full context)
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Nora, alone and wild-eyed with terror, talks to herself, trying to decide whether Krogstad is capable... (full context)
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Dr. Rank says he will keep taking advantage of the ability to talk to Nora as... (full context)
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Nora tells Dr. Rank he is being absurd, saying she hoped he would be in a... (full context)
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Suddenly, Nora asks Dr. Rank why he smiled, and Dr. Rank replies that it was in... (full context)
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Nora tells Dr. Rank to cheer up and promises that hell see her dance tomorrow and... (full context)
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Dr. Rank muses that he couldnt imagine what would have happened to him if hed never... (full context)
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Nora tells Dr. Rank that there is something he must help her prevent happening. She tells... (full context)
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The maid enters with the lamp, before exiting again. Dr. Rank asks if Nora knew that... (full context)
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Dr. Rank explains that he cant figure Nora out, and that its often felt to him... (full context)
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The maid enters, whispers something to Nora and hands her a visiting card. Nora, looking at... (full context)
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Nora asks the maid if he (Krogstad) is in the kitchen. The maid replies that he... (full context)
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Nora remarks to herself that Krogstad is coming and that this is what she has been... (full context)
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Krogstad asks if Nora has a clearer idea of her crime than she did yesterday. She... (full context)
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Krogstad explains that, even if the remainder of the debt is paid off, he will still... (full context)
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Krogstad reveals that he has a letter already written to Torvald explaining the situation. Nora insists... (full context)
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Nora tells Krogstad that he will never live to see himself run the bank. Krogstad asks... (full context)
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Nora watches Krogstad exit and sees him drop the letter in the letter box. She cries... (full context)
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Nora asks Mrs. Linde to be her witness in case she goes mad or anything else... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde announces that she is going to talk to Krogstad. Nora asks her not to,... (full context)
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Nora opens the door to Torvalds study. Torvald asks if he can return to his own... (full context)
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Torvald stops himself, saying before he forgets he should look to see if he has any... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde enters as though spellbound. Nora asks her to see what fun they are having,... (full context)
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Nora urges Torvald not to open any letters, and Torvald says he can tell that there... (full context)
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Nora asks Mrs. Linde what happened when she went out. Mrs. Linde replies that Krogstad has... (full context)
Act Three
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The act opens on the same room, this time only occupied by Mrs. Linde, who is... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde addresses Krogstad by his first name and asks that the two of them talk.... (full context)
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Krogstad tells Mrs. Linde that when he lost her it felt as if the ground slipped... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde points out that both she and Krogstad are struggling alone in bad situations. She... (full context)
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Krogstad, still uncertain, asks if Mrs. Linde knows about his past, and what people think of... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde interrupts Krogstad, saying that she can hear the tarantella. She explains this means the... (full context)
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Krogstad resolves to ask for his letter back unread, but Mrs. Linde asks him not to.... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde tidies the room and talks to herself about how things can change and how... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde greets them, and both Nora and Torvald are shocked to see her there so... (full context)
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Torvald notices that it is dark and goes in to light candles. While he is out... (full context)
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Torvald returns and asks if Mrs. Linde has finished admiring Nora. Mrs. Linde says she has... (full context)
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Nora asks Torvald if he is tired, but he says he is extremely lively. Nora admits... (full context)
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Torvald says how happy he is to be alone with Nora. Nora asks that he not... (full context)
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There is a knock at the door, and Dr. Rank announces himself. Torvald is annoyed by... (full context)
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Torvald goes to the letter box and says he must empty it. He notices that somebody... (full context)
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Torvald holds Nora and says that he sometimes wishes her life were in danger so that... (full context)
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Torvald takes the letters into his study. Nora, wild-eyed, wraps Torvalds cloak around herself and whispers... (full context)
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Torvald holds up the letter and asks if Nora knows whats in it. She admits that... (full context)
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Torvald paces up and down, saying that in the eight years they have been married, Nora... (full context)
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Nora promises Torvald that after she dies, he will be free. Torvald says she is pretending... (full context)
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Torvald tells Nora to take her shawl off and begins to talk about what he plans... (full context)
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The doorbell rings. Torvald tells Nora to hide, but she doesnt move. The maid enters and... (full context)
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Torvald talks about the agonies that Nora must have suffered, but then declares that they should... (full context)
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Torvald asks Nora where she is going, and she answers that she is going to take... (full context)
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Nora returns, wearing her everyday clothes. Torvald, surprised, asks why shes not in bed. Nora replies... (full context)
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Nora explains that Torvald has never understood her and that she has been wronged both by... (full context)
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Torvald, infuriated, says that Nora is being ungrateful. He asks if she was happy in their... (full context)
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Nora reveals to Torvald that she is planning to leave him immediately, and that she will... (full context)
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Torvald asks if she cares about leaving her husband and children, or what people will say.... (full context)
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Torvald asks if Nora does not have an infallible guide to the question of her position... (full context)
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Torvald says Nora is ill and delirious. Nora replies that she has never felt so calm... (full context)
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Torvald tells Nora that nobody sacrifices his honor for the person he loves, but Nora replies... (full context)
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Torvald acknowledges sadly that there is a tremendous gulf between them, and asks if there is... (full context)
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Torvald asks if some day things might change. Nora says she cannot know what she will... (full context)
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Torvald asks if there is any way that he could one day be more than a... (full context)