-In a middle-class living-room; nice but not extravagant furniture; piano, fire, winter’s day; Norway 2. Why does Nora tell the porter to hide the tree?

So the kids don’t see it before it’s decorated

  1. What does Nora sneak at the beginning of the play?


  1. What does Torvald call Nora?

Squirrel, skylark

  1. Why does Torvald scold Nora at the beginning of the play?

for buying things and being careless with money

  1. When is Torvald getting a new job? Why does he want Nora to wait to spend money?

New Year; what if he gets hit in the head with a brick and therefore never gets the job?

  1. How does Nora suggest they buy things before the promotion? -borrowing from people (Helmer thinks she’s just a typical woman who doesn’t understand debt)
  2. What does Nora want Torvald to get her for a present? Why doesn’t he want to give it to her?

money; he calls her a spendthrift and says she’ll just waste all the money on unimportant things

  1. What does Torvald think runs in Nora’s family?

spending too much money (like her father)

  1. Does Nora want to be like her dad? Does Torvald want this?

Yes, no


  1. What is the first thing Nora lies about?

she denies that she would ever eat macaroons because she promised not to…but she did

  1. What did Nora do the Christmas before this one?

-locked herself away to make paper flowers to decorate the tree (the cat ripped up the flowers, though) 13. Who is Mrs. Linde?

-Christine; Nora’s childhood friend; they haven’t seen each other in 9 or 10 years

  1. What does Nora think of Mrs. Linde’s appearance?

-she looks pale

  1. What work has Nora had to do? -sewing, embroidery, etc.
  2. What secret does Nora tell Mrs. Linde first?

-when Torvald worked too hard in the first year of their marriage and got sick and had to go to Italy to recover, she borrowed money from her father in order to pay for it (at the time: her father was dying, she was pregnant, and she couldn’t go see him) 17. What is Christine’s backstory?

-she never loved her husband, she just married Mr. Linde because she had a sick mother and two little brothers to support; when he died, his business fell apart and she was left with nothing; she had been working ever since; recently, her mom died and her brothers are now old enough to take care of themselves.

  1. What does Christine ask of Nora?

-if Torvald can give her a job at the bank he’ll be managing

  1. Why does Christine think it’s nice of Nora to care so much about her troubles?

-because she says Nora has never had any of her own

  1. What does Nora reveal to Mrs. Linde after being insulted because Christine said she didn’t really know trouble?

-she didn’t actually borrow money from her father; she borrowed it from someone else, but Torvald doesn’t know this; he didn’t even know how sick he was and that the Italy trip was to make him survive; she pretended that she just wanted to travel abroad and secretly borrowed the money to spare his pride 21. When does Nora plan on telling Torvald the truth? -when she’s old and he’s not attracted to her any more  22. How has Nora been paying back the loan?

-lots of odd jobs secretly, scrimping on buying new clothes for herself (cheap clothes look good on her so Torvald doesn’t notice); last winter she copied letters late every night (perhaps she didn’t really spend all that time making tree decorations?) 23. What does Nora dream?

-a rich old man would come and give her all the money she needs 24. How does Mrs. Linde first claim to have known Krogstad?

-he was a lawyer in her area 25. What is Krogstad’s backstory?

-had an unhappy marriage, now has several children, got himself into bad business troubles


  1. What does Mrs. Linde say when Dr. Rank tells her and Nora what a bad guy Krogstad is?

-people should try to help the diseased (Dr Rank says Krogstad is morally diseased)

  1. What does Torvald say when Nora asks if Christine can have a job?

-yes; she’s come at a good time

  1. What does Krogstad first ask Nora? Then what does he ask of her?

-if Mr. Helmer is giving Christine a job; if she will use her influence to get him a job (she says she doesn’t have much influence)

  1. Why is Nora no longer afraid of Krogstad when he first comes to visit?

-come New Year she’ll be out from under his thumb

  1. Why does Krogstad want to regain the community’s respect?

-for the sake of his sons

  1. Why does Nora tell Krogstad not to tell Torvald about the money?

-that would only confirm what a bad person Torvald sees

Krogstad as saying it would make everything unpleasant

  1. What does Krogstad tell Nora that makes the whole thing worse?

-she forged her father’s signature; he can prove it because the signature is in Nora’s handwriting and she dated the document after her father died; basically he can prove that not only does she owe money but she broke the law (Nora says she didn’t have time to think about it because her husband was dying) 33. When does Nora start decorating the Christmas tree?

-after Krogstad leaves after blackmailing her


  1. Why does Torvald think Krogstad was at the house?

-to get Nora to put in a good word for him  35. What does Nora ask Torvald to do for her?

-pick out her costume for the Stenborgs’ party because she’s helpless without his taste

  1. What crime did Krogstad commit? Why does Torvald not like him?

-forgery; he never admitted his guilt, he got off through loopholes, he is corrupt and has lived a life of lies even around his family

  1. How does the Christmas tree look at the start of Act 2? -stripped and bedraggled Who is Anne?

-nurse; she got pregnant by a bad guy and had to give up her child

  1. What costume is Nora going to wear to the Stenborgs’ party?

-Neapolitan fisher girl

  1. What dance does Torvald want Nora to do?


  1. What does Christine offer Nora?

-to fix up her costume (if she can come by and see Nora in it) 42. What is Dr. Rank sick with? How did he get it?

-consumption of the spine; his promiscuous father


  1. What can Nora not talk about with Torvald? Why?

-her old school friends; he gets jealous

  1. Who does Christine guess lent Nora the money?

-Dr. Rank

  1. What does Christine think of Nora and Dr. Rank’s relationship?

-they should stop talking to each other so much because he’s probably interested in Nora

  1. Who does Nora think about borrowing money from to pay Krogstad?

-Dr. Rank

  1. What does Nora tell Torvald she’ll do anything he asks of her for? What does Torvald say?

-if he’ll not fire Krogstad; he’s given his job to Mrs. Linde

  1. What reasoning does Nora give as to why Torvald should not fire Krogstad?

-he writes small newspapers and he might write nasty articles about Torvald if he’s fired (like when her father got in legal trouble and was slandered by the papers); he should fire someone else and let Mrs. Linde and Krogstad both have jobs 49. What does Torvald think of Nora’s dad’s business?

-his dealings were shady

  1. Why won’t Torvald give in to Nora’s request for a job for Krogstad?

-he already said no and told everyone at the bank he’s firing

Krogstad, and he’s worried that if he changes his mind people will think his wife rules him; also, he knew Krogstad when they were kids and Krogstad insists on calling Torvald his first name which is really embarrassing given Krogstad’s corrupt past 51. What finally makes Torvald send a letter firing Krogstad?

-Nora calls him petty for worrying about his affiliations with



  1. Why does Torvald forgive Nora’s behavior in wanting a job for Krogstad?

-shows how much she loves him; but if trouble comes from the firing, he can handle it

  1. What does Dr. Rank ask of Nora?

-to keep Torvald away from Dr. Rank’s sick room, because he is sensitive to such unpleasantness and Rank doesn’t want to upset him

  1. How will Dr. Rank inform Nora of his death?

-business card with black cross in their mailbox when he starts to die (Nora says it’s morbid and depressing)

  1. Who does Dr. Rank think will replace him as Nora’s friend after he dies?

-Mrs. Linde

  1. How does Nora react when Dr. Rank tells her he loves her? -she says it’s inappropriate; it makes her uncomfortable, he shouldn’t have said that
  2. How does Nora respond when Rank tells her that she seems like she loves him more than Torvald?

-she says the people you have fun with aren’t the same as the ones you love; when she was little she loved her father the most, but had fun gossiping with the maids

  1. What relationship does Nora liken her relationship with Torvald to?

-her relationship with her father

  1. Why is Krogstad surprised Torvald would fire him at first? -knowing what power he has over them What does Krogstad offer?

-that the three of them can settle the matter, and no one else has to be involved

  1. How does Krogstad plan to use the blackmail?

-to blackmail Torvald into giving him a promotion; in a year it’ll be him running the bank instead of Torvald

  1. What does Nora threaten to do? What does Krogstad say? -commit suicide; doesn’t believe she’ll do it, and it wouldn’t do any good because he would still be able to ruin her reputation which Torvald would never let happen
  2. What does Nora expect Torvald to do when he finds out? -take all the blame on himself; a wonderful, yet terrible thing How does Mrs. Linde reassure Nora?

-says she will go and convince Krogstad to ask Torvald for the unopened letter back because they used to be close 65. What does Nora ask Torvald to help her with?

-practising the tarantella (she does it, and he says she has a lot of practising to do, which she agrees with and says he will have to help her every moment between then and the party)


  1. What does Torvald guess when Nora says he will have no time to open letters since he’s helping her practise? What does he agree to do?

-that there’s a letter from Krogstad; wait till after the party to open it

  1. Why is Nora kind of glad that Torvald’s going to find out? -the wonderful thing, the miracle will happen – he’ll jump to her rescue and take all the blame
  2. Where does Mrs. Linde wait for Krogstad? Why?

-at the Helmers’ house while they’re at the party; there’s no private entrance at the place where she’s staying 69. What is Krogstad and Mrs. Linde’s past?

-she broke up with him abruptly for the man she married because she needed his money to support her family

  1. What does Krogstad say he has been like since Christine left him? What does she say?

-a man lost at sea on a wreck; she feels the same, and the shipwrecks should get together

  1. Why does Mrs. Linde tell Krogstad she came to town? What does he say?

-for him: she needs someone to work for, to help, or she feels like she has no purpose in life; Krogstad calls her hysterical and says she’s just looking for a chance at self-sacrifice

  1. What does Mrs. Linde say when Krogstad asks if she only got back together with him for Nora?

-she sold herself in the past and would never do it again

  1. Why does Christine tell Krogstad not to get his letter back? -all the lies in the Helmers house need to come to light Did Nora want to leave the party so early?



  1. Why does Mrs. Linde say she is at their house?

-to see Nora’s costume

  1. What did Torvald think of Nora’s performance at the party?

-a bit too realistic, she was a bit too much like a Neapolitan fisher girl for his taste (but the other guests loved it)

  1. What does Torvald think Mrs. Linde should do instead of knitting?

-embroidery (more tasteful since knitting needles looks Chinese) 78. What does Torvald pretend when the Helmers go to parties?

-Nora’s not his wife, but his secret lover

  1. What does Dr. Rank say he will be at the party next year?


  1. Why does Dr. Rank tell Torvald he had a right to drink a lot at the party?

-he did medical research all day and has found something for sure and was very productive (but really, he found out he’s definitely going to die)

  1. What does Torvald notice about the mailbox? What is Nora’s response?

-someone tried to pick the lock; one of Nora’s hairpins is jammed into it; she blames it on the kids

  1. What does Torvald find in the mailbox from Rank? -two cards with black crosses on them
  2. What does Torvald tell Nora after he says he’s glad to have her?

-he sometimes wishes she were in trouble so he could save her 84. What does Torvald do after reading Krogstad’s letter? -screams at Nora, says she is just as disgusting as her father was; says his happiness is now destroyed because he will have to obey


  1. What does Torvald say in response to Nora’s threatening to commit suicide?

-it won’t do any good because Krogstad will still have power and suspect him as an accomplice (he doesn’t really care that she’d be dead?!)

  1. What is Torvald’s solution?

-Nora can still live in the house to keep up appearances, but the relationship is over and she’s not allowed near the children because she’ll corrupt them

  1. How does Krogstad fix the problem?

-sends another letter with the forgery and says he’s ashamed he tried to blackmail them

  1. Why does Torvald say his love for Nora is even deeper now? -after having forgiven her from the bottom of his heart; his possession of her has grown even greater; she shouldn’t worry because hewill continue to guide her through life as if she were a child
  2. What does Nora complain about after Torvald forgives her? -she says they have never had a serious conversation before now Who does Nora accuse of treating her like a doll?

-Torvald and her father; they dressed her up and made her into what they wanted her to be

  1. Why does Nora say she’s leaving Torvald and the kids? -she has a duty to herself that she’s never fulfilled; she realizes she’s never been happy with Torvald; she will spend the night at

Mrs. Linde’s

  1. Why does Torvald admonish Nora for wanting to leave? -he says she’s forsaking her sacred duties to her husband and children; then he says what Jesus would do What does Nora need to learn by leaving?

-whether she’s just too ignorant to understand society, as Torvald says, or if society’s wrong


  1. Why does Nora realize she never loved Torvald?

-she realizes he isn’t the man she thought he was when the “miracle” of him taking the blame from her didn’t happen 95. When does Nora say she would come back?

-if they had a true marriage instead of just living together 96. What does Helmer end with?

“The most wonderful thing of all”


  1. What is important about the title? Who is the “doll” Ibsen refers to?
  2. Who is the more significant female character in terms of plot development, Nora or Christine? Explain your answer.
  3. Do you think Christine’s decision not to prevent Krogstad from revealing the truth to Torvald is a betrayal of Nora? Does this act ultimately hurt or benefit Nora?
  4. How does Henrik Ibsen reveal character in A Doll’s House? Is Nora a sympathetic character? Did your opinion of Nora change from the beginning of the play to its conclusion?
  5. Does the play end the way you expected? Do you think this was a happy ending?
  6. A Doll’s House is generally considered a feminist work. Do you agree with this characterization? Why or why not?
  7. What does the Tarantella dance symbolize in A Doll’s house?




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