A Doll's House

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Torvald Helmer Character Analysis

Torvald Helmer is a lawyer who at the play’s outset has recently been promoted to Bank Manager. He is married to Nora Helmer, with whom he has three children. He does not seem particularly fond of his children, even once saying that their presence makes the house “unbearable to anyone except mothers.” Straightforward and traditional in his beliefs about marriage and society, he loves and is very affectionate towards Nora, but often treats her more as a pet, child, or object than as a real person. His best friend is Dr. Rank, who visits him every day. However, towards the end of the play this friendship is revealed to be something of a façade, as Torvald seems untroubled and even a little relieved at the thought of Dr. Rank’s death. A similar occurrence happens when he finds out about Nora’s secret debt and instantly turns on her until he realizes that his reputation is safe. Torvald's focus on status and being treated as superior by people like Nils Krogstad, highlights his obsession with reputation and appearances. When Nora tells him she is leaving him, Torvald at first reacts by calling her mad and saying she is acting like a stupid child. However, when he realizes how resolute she is in her decision, Torvald offers to change and desperately searches for a way to stay with her. His despair as Nora exits at the very end of the play suggests that, despite his patronizing and unjust treatment of her, Torvald really does love Nora (or at least the idea of her).

Torvald Helmer Quotes in A Doll's House

The A Doll's House quotes below are all either spoken by Torvald Helmer or refer to Torvald Helmer. 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 One Quotes

Nora! Just like a woman. Seriously though, Nora, you know what I think about these things. No debts! Never borrow! There’s always something inhibited, something unpleasant, about a home built on credit and borrowed money.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nora Helmer
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Although Torvald has just recently received a promotion that means he will earn a larger salary, here he chastises Nora for spending too much on Christmas presents, particularly considering he won't be paid for a few more months. Torvald and Nora's differing opinions reveal their contrasting attitudes toward the issue of money and debt. While Torvald is cautious about overspending and sees borrowing as irresponsible and even immoral, as something that destroys one's self-sufficiency, Nora believes there is nothing wrong with spending and borrowing now that Torvald's job gives them financial security. Further, by saying that Nora is acting "just like a woman," Torvald shows that he considers women irrational and untrustworthy when it comes to money (and in general).

The irony of Torvald's condemnation of borrowing is that Nora has already borrowed money; though Torvald doesn't know it, his own home is "built on credit." This shows that Torvald has less control over his wife than he believes. It also suggests that there is not necessarily always something "unpleasant" about a home built on debt, as Torvald does not consider his own home unpleasant. At the same time, this statement seems to foreshadow the unpleasantness and eventual disintegration of Torvald and Nora's home later in the play.


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I would never dream of doing anything you didn’t want me to.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Related Symbols: Macaroons
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Nora plays the part of the perfect wife, promising absolute obedience to Torvald—in this case specifically related to the fact that he has forbidden her to eat macaroons. On one level this quote seems to convey Nora's love for her husband and her acceptance of gender roles, suggesting she adores Torvald so much that she is willing to give up her own agency in order to make him happy. However, in reality she is lying. She has already disobeyed him, both in the minor act of eating macaroons just a few minutes earlier, and in the major transgression of borrowing money much earlier in their marriage.

Nora has thus deceived Torvald on two levels: first by disobeying him, and then by lying about it. The exaggerated nature of the phrase – that she would "never dream" of disobeying him – adds further tension to the lie and suggests that the role Nora is trying to play is unrealistic and impossible, and therefore hints at her eventual refusal to play it.

Oh, what a glorious feeling it is, knowing you’ve got a nice, safe job, and a good fat income.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Having just scolded Nora for spending too much, Torvald now decides to give her extra money anyway and then reflects on how pleased he is to have been given a promotion and raise. This indicates that Torvald takes pleasure in the power that comes with having a high-paying job, perhaps more than he cares about having money to spend. His statement highlights the importance of income and status within the world of the play.

This passage also once again reveals Torvald's naïveté, as later in the play his "safe" job will be threatened. It also will later expose his cruelty; despite the importance he himself places on having a secure position, he is merciless when it comes to firing Krogstad. 

I am not so heartless that I would necessarily want to condemn a man for a single mistake like that.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nils Krogstad
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Torvald explains to Nora that Krogstad committed forgery, and when she suggests that he might have done so out of necessity, Torvald replies that Krogstad was probably just careless - but that even so, Torvald would have forgiven him for that mistake alone. Here Torvald presents himself as a fair and reasonable source of moral authority with the individual power to bestow forgiveness on others. This quote also confirms that Torvald despises deceit above anything else; although forgery is illegal, it is Krogstad's dishonesty that Torvald finds inexcusable. 

Torvald and Nora are discussing Krogstad here, but Torvald's words also carry implications for how he might react to discovering Nora's "crimes"; after all, Nora is guilty not only of forgery and deception, but also of borrowing money, an act Torvald vehemently condemns. However, as this could be seen as only "one mistake," Ibsen leads us to expect that Torvald might forgive Nora. But at the play's climax, Torvald does not behave in the way he describes in this statement; instead he shows Nora no mercy, behaving in a manner that is truly heartless.

Just think how a man with a thing like that on his conscience will always be having to lie and cheat and dissemble; he can never drop the mask, not even with his own wife and children. And the children—that’s the most terrible part of it, Nora… A fog of lies like that in a household, and it spreads disease and infection to every part of it. Every breath the children take in that kind of house is reeking evil germs.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nora Helmer, Nils Krogstad
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

Torvald describes the consequences of Krogstad's deception, insisting that it will have devastating consequences on his household. Torvald's melodramatic language highlights the fierce contempt he feels for Krogstad, and emphasizes that Torvald sees dishonesty as a kind of poison that corrupts the purity of domestic life. Again, this passage has a double meaning; just like Krogstad, Nora has also committed a crime and must keep it a secret from her family. Once more, Torvald unwittingly reveals his own ignorance, as he does not think there is a "fog of lies" in his own household or that his children are breathing "evil germs."

At the same time, Torvald's comment that Krogstad "can never drop the mask" rings true for Nora. Ibsen has already shown that Nora pretends to be obedient, while in reality she disobeys and lies to Torvald. The pressure of this double life comes to take a major toll on Nora as the play progresses. However, Ibsen suggests that, deception aside, the pressure to perform the role of the perfect wife is itself a kind of "mask," as Torvald has unrealistic expectations of Nora and does not allow her to act freely as an individual. The "mask" in this passage thus connects to the symbol of the doll's house, foreshadowing Nora's claim at the end of the play that Torvald has treated her like a doll.

Act Two Quotes

You see Torvald is so terribly in love with me that he says he wants me all to himself. When we first married, it even used to make him sort of jealous if I only as much as mentioned any of my old friends back home. So of course I stopped doing it.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Linde has expressed confusion at the fact that Torvald did not know who she was, and Nora responds by explaining that Torvald would become jealous if she ever mentioned her old friends, leading Nora to cease mentioning them at all. Though Nora justifies this by claiming it is because Torvald loves her, the phrase "wants me all to himself" suggests that Torvald views her as a possession - again foreshadowing Nora's later claim that he treats her like a doll. At this point Nora seems to genuinely believe that there is nothing wrong with Torvald's possessive behavior, and she sees it as natural that she should stop mentioning her old friends around him. This quote reveals her strong desire to conform to gender roles and be a perfect wife, even if it comes at the expense of her own happiness. 

If it ever got around that the new manager had been talked over by his wife… As long as the little woman gets her own stubborn way…! Do you want me to make myself a laughing stock in the office? Give people the idea that I am susceptible to any kind of outside pressure? You can imagine how soon I’d feel the consequences of that!

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nora Helmer
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

Nora has tried once again to persuade Torvald not to fire Krogstad, and in response Torvald becomes irritated, claiming that it would damage his reputation if people were to think his wife influenced his decisions. This passage shows how cruel Torvald can be to Nora, and suggests he has little respect for her. The phrase "little woman" again brings to mind the symbol of the doll's house and Torvald's treatment of Nora as a doll. 

At the same time, Torvald's words also reveal that he as an individual is not entirely to blame for his sexist attitude. His dismissal of Nora seems motivated by a fear that, if he were to take her opinion seriously, he would be ridiculed by other men at the bank and that his career could even suffer as a result. Here Ibsen emphasizes the pressure on all the characters in the play to maintain appearances and conform to the norms of society.

Now Dr. Rank, cheer up. You’ll see tomorrow how nicely I can dance. And you can pretend I’m doing it just for you—and for Torvald as well, of course.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer, Dr. Rank
Related Symbols: The Tarantella
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Dr. Rank has told Nora that he is dying and that she and Torvald will soon forget him, but Nora brushes him off and attempts to distract him by mentioning the Tarantella. Her behavior in this passage is rather childlike, as she is dismissive of Dr. Rank's melancholic feelings and seems unwilling to discuss the sober matter of his death. Her flirtatious behavior would similarly have been seen as immature and irresponsible, far from the ideal of a modest married woman. 

This passage also serves as another example of Nora's use of the Tarantella to appease men; she often brings it up to distract from conflict with Torvald, and here she uses a similar strategy with Dr. Rank. Her suggestion that Dr. Rank imagines she is dancing "just for him" highlights the pervasive notion that men wanted exclusive ownership of women.

I want to get on my feet again, Mrs. Helmer; I want to get to the top… For the last eighteen months I’ve gone straight; all that time it’s been hard going; I was content to work my way up, step by step. Now I’m being kicked out, and I won’t stand for being taken back again as an act of charity. I’m going to get to the top, I tell you… It’ll be Nils Krogstad, not Torvald Helmer, who’ll be running the bank.

Related Characters: Nils Krogstad (speaker), Nora Helmer, Torvald Helmer
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

Krogstad has shown Nora the letter he has written to Torvald, confirming that he intends to blackmail her; however, in this passage it becomes clear that he doesn't want the money Nora owes him, but rather the respectability and social status of a senior position at the bank. Although money is highly important in the play, Krogstad's speech confirms that the opinion of society is even more valuable than wealth. At the same time, it also highlights the limitations of behaving according to society's rules. Krogstad has been honest and worked "step by step," only to find himself fired; in order to regain dignity, he feels compelled to return to tactics of scheming and deceit.

Tell me what to do, keep me right—as you always do.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Related Symbols: The Tarantella
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

Torvald has come perilously close to opening the letterbox and finding Krogstad's letter, and in order to distract him Nora pretends to be nervous about the Tarantella, insisting that she needs to rehearse and that she requires Torvald's help. On one level, this behavior is purely manipulative, as Nora knows the Tarantella is guaranteed to catch Torvald's attention. Her claim to need his help can similarly be seen as a way of appeasing him by playing the role of the obedient, submissive wife. 

At the same time, Nora does still love Torvald, and this quote can also be interpreted as a genuine desire on her part for Torvald to take care of her. As Nora grows increasingly frantic about Krogstad's threat, she remains unable to seek guidance from her husband, and thus is left isolated and in turmoil. This quote thus also serves as a reminder that Nora and Torvald's marriage isn't all bad, and that Nora truly does crave and appreciate the support of her husband.

But my dear darling Nora, you are dancing as though your life depended on it.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nora Helmer
Related Symbols: The Tarantella
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

Having managed to persuade Torvald not to open the letterbox with the promise of rehearsing the Tarantella, Nora beings to dance in a wild, desperate way, not listening to the instructions Torvald gives. Torvald's statement conveys that Nora's inner turmoil has reached a level of crisis. She can no longer play the part of the carefree, childlike doll-wife, and has even considered committing suicide. Indeed, following this statement Nora replies that her life does depend on the dance; this prefigures her later statement to Torvald that she performed for him - "doing tricks" - in order to survive. 

At the same time, Nora's wild dancing style can also be seen as representative of her longing to break away from the strict codes of behavior for Victorian women. The fact that she ignores Torvald's instructions as she dances foreshadows her eventual decision to leave her husband and children in order to pursue a life of freedom.

Act Three Quotes

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. 

His suffering and his loneliness seemed almost to provide a background of dark cloud to the sunshine of our lives.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Dr. Rank
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

Having learned from Nora that Dr. Rank is about to die and thus that they will never see him again, Torvald does not feel pity for his friend, but only regretful that Dr. Rank will not be around to make his and Nora's life seem even happier. The fact that Torvald responds this way to the death of his best friend highlights his cold-heartedness, foreshadowing his cruel reaction to the revelation of Nora's secret. At this point the antagonist of the play is no longer Krogstad, who has been redeemed by the promise of his marriage to Mrs. Linde, but rather Torvald. 

This quote also makes clear how much Torvald's idea of a happy and meaningful life is dependent on outside appearances. He appreciated Dr. Rank's presence because of how much happier he made Tora and Norvald seem, not because of the the actual pleasure of his company. Again, this prefigures his insistence upon learning Nora's secret that they stay married and keep up appearances for society's sake, even though they will be miserable. 

The thing must be hushed up at all costs. And as far as you and I are concerned, things must appear to go on exactly as before. But only in the eyes of the world, of course… From now on, their can be no question of happiness. All we can do is save the bits and pieces from the wreck, preserve appearances…

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

Having discovered the letter from Krogstad exposing Nora's secret debt, Torvald flies into a rage, insulting Nora and her father. Immediately afterward, however, Torvald insists that they stay married and that everything must appear to go on as before. The fact that Torvald clearly despises Nora, admits that they will never be happy, and yet maintains that they must "preserve appearances" shows the extent to which he values societal approval above everything else. 

In many ways, this is worse than any of the possible outcomes Ibsen has led the audience to anticipate. Torvald vows never to forgive Nora, insisting that their relationship is destroyed forever; at the same time, he traps her in their marriage, effectively forbidding her even from committing suicide or escaping to start a new life. This reaction demonstrates the absolute power Torvald wishes to have over Nora, and which he believes is his right as her husband. 

I wouldn’t be a proper man if I didn’t find a woman doubly attractive for being so obviously helpless.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker)
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Upon discovering the second letter from Krogstad in which he revokes his original threat of blackmail, Torvald immediately forgives Nora, rejoicing in the fact that his reputation is no longer in jeopardy. While this total reversal makes sense considering the fact that Torvald only truly cares about societal approval, it is important to note the shift in the way Torvald treats Nora before and after reading Krogstad's second letter. 

While Torvald still believes that Krogstad will blackmail him, he blames the entire situation on Nora, calling her a hypocrite, liar, criminal, and a "miserable... feather-brained woman." However, as soon as he knows his reputation is safe, Torvald shows mercy toward Nora, calling her "helpless" and saying that she made an error without his guidance, but that she is not at fault. This stark contrast exposes the superficiality of Torvald's love for Nora, and emphasizes the extent to which he loves her only as long as she is remains in a passive, child-like role. His statement about loving her for her helplessness shows how normal it was in Victorian society for men to treat their wives like children.

For a man, there is something indescribably moving and very satisfying in knowing that he has forgiven his wife—forgiven her, completely and genuinely, from the depths of his heart. It’s as though it made her his property in a double sense: he has, as it were, given her a new life, and she becomes in a way both his wife and at the same time his child.

Related Characters: Torvald Helmer (speaker), Nora Helmer
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Nora has tried to leave the room, but Torvald stops her, continuing to speak joyously about how wonderful it is that he has forgiven her. The speech takes a perverse turn when he explains that Nora is now "his property in a double sense," because by forgiving her he has given her a new life. Torvald's use of this metaphor takes patriarchal logic to the extreme, suggesting that Torvald sees himself in a god-like role.

Even more disturbingly, Torvald then remarks that this double-ownership means that Nora is simultaneously his wife and also his child. Even if we put aside the paedophilic overtones of this statement, it is clear that Torvald never wished his relationship with Nora to be equal and mutually respectful. Indeed, his joy seems to stem from the fact that - due to his discovery of her secret debt - he believes he will henceforth always enjoy an unquestioned moral superiority and authority over his wife. While Torvald expresses a desire to control Nora throughout the play, it is only at this moment that he fully voices his alarmingly infantilizing feelings about her.

I have been your doll wife, just as at home I was Daddy’s doll child. And the children in turn have been my dolls. I thought it was fun when you came and played with me, just as they thought it was fun when I went to play with them. That’s been our marriage, Torvald.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Related Symbols: The Doll’s House
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

Nora accuses both Torvald and her father of treating her like a doll, and compares her life to a doll's house. At this point the full meaning of the play's title becomes clear. Nora acknowledges that she has found pleasure in her doll life, enjoying the moments when Torvald chooses to "play" with her and when she chooses to play with the children. Ibsen has shown evidence of this, particularly at the beginning of the play when Nora delighted in performing for Torvald and playing the role of the perfect, obedient wife. 

However, at this moment it is clear that Nora has undergone a transformation, leading her to view her life from a different, much more critical perspective. Intriguingly, although Torvald has behaved in a cruel and disdainful way toward her, Nora does not cite this behaviour as the main problem with their marriage. Rather, she implies that their interactions are doomed to be superficial and meaningless because of the fact that Torvald does not see her as an autonomous person, but rather as a possession which he can control. Nora appears to have realized that Torvald values her only because of the control he has over her and because of how their marriage appears to society.

I believe that first and foremost I am an individual, just as much as you are—or at least I’m going to try to be. I know most people agree with you, Torvald, and that’s also what it says in books. But I’m not content anymore with what most people say, or what it says in books. I have to think things for myself, and get things clear.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

Shocked by Nora's objections to their life together and by her decision to leave, Torvald has insisted that she stay, arguing that she is "first and foremost a wife and mother." Nora rejects this by saying that she is an individual before she is anything else. (This statement would have been highly scandalous at the time.) Significantly, Nora does acknowledge that most people remain committed to societal norms about gender and the family (aside from Torvald, this is also particularly true of Mrs. Linde). The fact that Nora mentions this shows how central the approval of society remains within the play, even at the moment when Nora decides to radically subvert societal expectations.

It is important to note that Nora rejects three major sources of knowledge about how she should choose to conduct her life: the opinion of her husband, the opinion of society as a whole, and the knowledge to be found in books. The last of these is especially significant, because it emphasizes the fact that Nora believes that the truth about how she should live can only be found within herself. Furthermore, she thinks she will only be able to gain access to this truth through living independently and figuring it out on her own. Though a fairly common notion in today's world, this was a highly unusual position to take in the 19th century, especially for a woman. Nora's speech thus confirms the extent to which "A Doll's House" was ahead of its time, foreshadowing debates about gender and autonomy that would not emerge until many decades later.

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Torvald Helmer Character Timeline in A Doll's House

The timeline below shows where the character Torvald Helmer appears in A Doll's House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Money and Work Theme Icon
Deceit Theme Icon
...some macaroons from her pocket. She goes and listens at the door of her husband Torvald’s study, noting to herself that he is in. (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
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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 replies that this is a typical way of thinking for a... (full context)
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Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Nora concedes: “just as you say, Torvald.” Torvald, not wanting to see her sulk, gives her more money. She is thrilled and... (full context)
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...a horse for the boys) and the maids, which she admits were cheap. She hides Torvald’s present for later. Torvald asks what she got for herself and Nora admits that she... (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 didn’t have... (full context)
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Dr. Rank and an unnamed lady arrive. Torvald says he does not want to receive visitors, but it is too late as Dr.... (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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...Mrs. Linde’s life, but before Mrs. Linde can say anything, Nora shares the news about Torvald’s promotion to Bank Manager. She explains that Torvald’s increased salary will allow them to live... (full context)
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...says she remembers Nora being a “spendthrift” in their school days, and Nora admits that Torvald still calls her that. However, she says that she is smarter than that, and explains... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde says she knows that Nora and Torvald spent a year in Italy, and Nora explains that, although it saved Torvald’s life, it... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde asks about Dr. Rank, wondering if his visit means Torvald is still in bad health. Nora explains that Dr. Rank is her and Torvald’s best... (full context)
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...ends up only thinking about herself. She admits that she was happy to hear about Torvald’s promotion because she hopes that he will help her find a job. (full context)
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Nora promises to help persuade Torvald to give Mrs. Linde a job. Mrs. Linde thanks her, saying Nora’s behavior is exceptionally... (full context)
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...her husband’s back is a rash move. Nora explains that the “whole point” was that Torvald wasn’t supposed to know how ill he was nor how Nora acquired the money for... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde asks if Torvald ever found out about the money, and if Nora ever confided in him. Nora says... (full context)
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...children’s clothes, as both these needed to be of high quality. She explains that whenever Torvald gave her money to spend on herself, she always only spent half of what he... (full context)
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The doorbell rings. The maid announces that it is someone to see Torvald, but that she isn’t sure whether to show him in yet as Torvald is still... (full context)
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...He notes that one example of someone who thinks like this is the man with Torvald. Nora asks what he means and Dr. Rank replies that it is a man called... (full context)
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...something entirely different, and asks if everyone who works at the bank is now under Torvald’s control. Dr. Rank, shocked, asks if that is what Nora is laughing about. Nora, smiling,... (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 they return... (full context)
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...says that someone left the door open to the house by accident. She tells him Torvald isn’t home. Krogstad replies that he wants to talk to Nora. Nora tells her children... (full context)
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Krogstad says that he saw Torvald walking down the street earlier with a lady. Nora asks if the lady was Mrs.... (full context)
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Krogstad says he knew Torvald in their student days and is sure he is no more “steadfast” than other married... (full context)
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...that he has a way of forcing her. Nora, shocked, asks if he would tell Torvald about the debt. Krogstad suggests that he might, and Nora begins to cry, saying that... (full context)
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...had never gone on the trip. Nora protests, saying she didn’t have a choice as Torvald’s life was on the line. Krogstad asks her if she ever realized she was committing... (full context)
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...to herself, saying everything Krogstad has said is nonsense and that she will do anything Torvald wants her to. Torvald enters and asks if anybody has visited the house. Nora says... (full context)
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Nora continues to decorate the Christmas tree and tells Torvald she is excited for the Stenborgs’ fancy dress ball on Boxing Day. Torvald replies that... (full context)
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Nora strokes Torvald’s hair and says that if he weren’t so busy she’d ask him to give her... (full context)
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Nora casually asks what Krogstad’s crime was. Torvald replies that it was forgery, and asks if Nora knows what that means. Nora suggests... (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 do some work, as... (full context)
Act Two
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...like her help with her costume for the fancy dress party. She tells her that Torvald wants her to go as a Neopolitan fisher lass and dance the tarantella, which she... (full context)
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Nora remarks that Torvald knows how to make the home nice, and Mrs. Linde says that Nora does too,... (full context)
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Nora explains that Dr. Rank was Torvald’s best friend as a boy and is also a good friend of hers, with emphasis... (full context)
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...she is about to tell Mrs. Linde more, but is interrupted by the sound of Torvald returning. She tells Mrs. Linde to wait in the other room with the children, because... (full context)
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Nora goes to meet Torvald and says she’s been “longing” for him to come back. She explains that Mrs. Linde... (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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...capable of great evil, implying he could destroy the peace and happiness of hers and Torvald’s home. Torvald says that the more Nora tries to persuade him, the less likely it... (full context)
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Torvald says that there is another reason, separate from Krogstad’s 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 children. She tells... (full context)
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...sees that it is Dr. Rank. She lets Dr. Rank in and tells him that Torvald is busy at the moment and not to go into his study yet, but says... (full context)
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...he will probably be dead. Dr. Rank asks a favor of Nora, telling her that Torvald is sensitive and he does not want him to visit him as he dies. He... (full context)
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...is feeling mischievous that day. Nora asks Dr. Rank not to “go and die on Torvald and me.” Dr. Rank says he won’t be missed for long, and speaks with jealousy... (full context)
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...he can pretend that she is dancing just for him, before quickly adding, “and for Torvald as well, of course.” She brings him over to the costume box and shows him... (full context)
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...muses that he couldn’t imagine what would have happened to him if he’d never encountered Torvald and Nora and become a regular visitor in their house. He laments the fact that... (full context)
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...that there is something he must help her prevent happening. She tells him how passionately Torvald loves her and says he would surely lay down his life for her. Before she... (full context)
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...and not return. Nora tells him to keep visiting them as usual, as she and Torvald would both miss him otherwise. (full context)
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...it’s often felt to him that she’d just as rather be with him as with Torvald. Nora responds by saying that “there are those people you love and those people you’d... (full context)
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...her costume was in the other room. Nora says she’s ordered another one and that Torvald must not know about it. She tells Dr. Rank to go and see Torvald and... (full context)
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...let Krogstad in but not to tell anybody about it as it’s a surprise for Torvald. The maid agrees and exits. (full context)
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...coming and that this is what she has been dreading. She locks the door to Torvald’s study. Krogstad enters in a fur coat and cap. Nora tells him to keep his... (full context)
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...case to show mercy and think of her children. He suggests that neither she nor Torvald thought of his children when Torvald fired him. He says that he won’t make any... (full context)
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Krogstad reveals that he has a letter already written to Torvald explaining the situation. Nora insists that Torvald must never read the letter and tells Krogstad... (full context)
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...her reputation would still be in Krogstad’s hands, and Krogstad could use that to manipulate Torvald. Krogstad tells Nora not to do anything silly, and that he expects to hear from... (full context)
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...Krogstad exit and sees him drop the letter in the letter box. She cries out Torvald’s name and exclaims that it is hopeless. Mrs. Linde enters and announces that Nora’s costume... (full context)
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...Nora checks his card to see the address, but is interrupted by the sound of Torvald knocking on the door and saying Nora’s name. Nora, terrified, asks what he wants. Torvald... (full context)
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Nora opens the door to Torvald’s study. Torvald asks if he can return to his own living room again. He is... (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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...enters “as though spellbound.” Nora asks her to see what fun they are having, but Torvald says that Nora is dancing as if her life depended on it. Nora replies that... (full context)
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Nora urges Torvald not to open any letters, and Torvald says he can tell that there is already... (full context)
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...until the tarantella and until midnight the next evening, eventually pronouncing: “Thirty-one hours to live.” Torvald calls from the doorway for his little skylark, and Nora runs to him. (full context)
Act Three
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...she has seen in the past twenty-four hours she has come to the conclusion that Torvald has to know everything, saying that “all this secrecy and deception must end at once.”... (full context)
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...her coat and hat ready and waits excitedly for the Helmers to return. They enter, Torvald pushing Nora, who is dressed in the Italian costume, “almost forcibly” into the hall. Nora... (full context)
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Mrs. Linde greets them, and both Nora and Torvald are shocked to see her there so late. Mrs. Linde says she was too late... (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 that she... (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 the intrusion, but greets Dr. Rank in a friendly way. Dr. Rank... (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 Torvald’s cloak around herself and whispers... (full context)
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Torvald holds up the letter and asks if Nora knows what’s 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 and says... (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 doesn’t move. The maid enters and says there is... (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 she’s not in bed. Nora replies that she won’t sleep that night,... (full context)
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Nora explains that Torvald has never understood her and that she has been wronged both by him and her... (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 go to stay... (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)