Why does Mrs. Linde move to Nora’s neighborhood? 

Mrs. Linde moves after her mother’s death in order to find work and someone to care for. Mrs. Linde spent most of her life sacrificing for others so that they could live more comfortably. Rather than marrying for love, she married her husband for his money, so that she could aid her ailing mother and provide care for her younger brothers. Now that her husband and her mother have died and her brothers have grown up, Mrs. Linde feels that her life is “unspeakably empty” because there is “no one to live for any more.” She moves to look for office work and hopes Nora will help her find employment. We later learn that she also hoped to rekindle a romance with her long-lost love, Krogstad, and become a new mother for his children.  

Why does Krogstad want to blackmail Nora? 

Krogstad knows that Nora forged her father’s signature on the loan that he gave her, and he uses this information to blackmail Nora. He demands that she convince Torvald to keep him on as an employee at the bank. Now that Torvald is the bank manager, Krogstad knows Torvald can make or break his career, and when he learns that Mrs. Linde is looking for office work, he correctly guesses that Torvald will fire him in order to hire Mrs. Linde. Krogstad threatens to tell Torvald about the forgery in order to scare Nora into influencing Torvald. When Nora is unable to change Torvald’s mind, Krogstad writes a letter detailing Nora’s actions and threatening to make them public. 

What is the “wonderful thing” that Nora believes will happen? 

Nora believes that once Torvald finds out about the loan and the forgery, he will sacrifice his own reputation in order to save hers. Nora made many sacrifices to save Torvald’s life, and she assumes that her husband will see the love and devotion in her actions and show his love in return by “[taking] everything upon [himself] and [saying]: ‘I am the guilty one.’” Torvald’s willingness to take the blame would have been the ultimate proof of his love for Nora, and she both longed for and feared it, for it would mean the downfall of Torvald’s good reputation. However, the “wonderful thing” doesn’t happen, because Torvald is more in love with his reputation than he is with Nora, and is unwilling to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her. 

How are Krogstad and Nora similar? 

Krogstad and Nora, though opposing forces at the beginning of the play, both committed the crime of forgery for what they saw as justified reasons, and have been living with the guilt of their crimes ever since. With Krogstad, we see what happens when a crime becomes public knowledge; his reputation is destroyed, and he must try to raise his children as an outcast from society. Both Nora and Krogstad have rebelled against what could be seen as an unjust law, and, as Torvald points out, they have both had to “wear a mask in the presence of those near and dear to [them].”  

How do dolls represent Nora as a character? 

Nora believes herself to be a doll because the men in her life see her more as a toy than a human being. They view her as a pretty object without any thoughts of her own that they can use as they want. Nora’s father used to call her his “doll child,” and he “played” with her “as [she] used to play with [her] dolls.” Nora believes that her role in Torvald’s life is “merely to perform tricks” for him, such as dressing a certain way for the ball. Dolls represent the delicate, pretty objects that housewives of Nora’s time were supposed to emulate, remaining quiet about serious matters. 

What does Mrs. Linde confess to Krogstad? 

Mrs. Linde tells Krogstad she spurned his romantic pursuits when they were younger because she needed the money another man could provide. This confession at the beginning of Act Three marks the first time Mrs. Linde reveals the nature of her past connection with Krogstad. She tells him they couldn’t be together in their youth but that she wants to be with him now. When Krogstad suspects Mrs. Linde is only protecting Nora, she admits that was her initial impulse, but it is no longer her goal. Mrs. Linde particularly stresses her desire to have someone to take care of and Krogstad’s need for a caregiver in his home. She is delighted at the prospect of having what she feels is a proper role in a caring home, rather than scraping by on the reliance of friends.

Why does Torvald want to fire Krogstad?

Torvald cares about his reputation and the perceptions of the people around him. When Nora asks Torvald to give Mrs. Linde a job, it provides Torvald with the perfect excuse to fire Krogstad. He does not like Krogstad because he feels Krogstad is a threat to his reputation in his new position at the bank. Torvald does not approve of Krogstad’s past, but he feels especially wary of Krogstad’s overly familiar mannerisms at the bank. Torvald wants to hold an air of authority in his position, and Krogstad undermines that status by treating Torvald as a peer. The connection makes Torvald look especially bad because Krogstad is only newly back on his feet after having committed fraud. Firing Krogstad gives Torvald the chance to make an example of him and establish a stronger sense of authority over his employees.

Torvald becomes upset when Nora later asks him to give Krogstad’s job back, because to do so would further erode Torvald’s image at the bank. Were he to rehire Krogstad under his wife’s influence, Torvald would become a man whose decisions are at the mercy of his former employee and his wife. Hiring Krogstad back would completely undo Torvald’s impression of firm authority and, worse, make him look like a pushover.

Why does Nora forge her father’s signature?

Nora illegally forged her father’s signature to obtain a loan. At the time Nora asked for the loan, both Torvald and her father were ill and she believed she could save Torvald by secretly securing the money they needed without adding stress to either man. She thought it would worsen her father’s health if he knew Torvald was unwell and unable to get help, and she also knew it would hurt Torvald’s pride to learn his wife raised funds to save him. Nora thinks her motivation was pure, and therefore her action was just, even if it was against the law. She also takes pride in securing the loan, as it proved she could act independently.

Why does Mrs. Linde caution Nora about Dr. Rank?

Mrs. Linde is suspicious of the friendship between Nora and Dr. Rank. When Nora hints at where she got the money to help Torvald, Mrs. Linde connects such a large sum with Dr. Rank’s position as a close family friend. Nora denies there being anything inappropriate between herself and Dr. Rank, but Mrs. Linde still worries he might have improper expectations for Nora if he is the provider of the loan, and she warns Nora against making transactions behind Torvald’s back.

Why does Nora reject Dr. Rank’s help?

Nora does not want to encourage Dr. Rank’s affections. She hints that she may have suspected his romantic interest in her before he reveals it, but it is only after Dr. Rank explicitly expresses his feelings that Nora becomes uncomfortable asking for his help. Nora intended to ask her dear family friend for assistance, but after his profession of love, she now feels it would be inappropriate to accept his help.

What is revealed about Nora when she talks with Anne-Marie about motherhood?

Torvald has just told Nora he thinks a mother’s influence is most often to blame when a person “goes bad early in life.” The more Nora learns about the character of Krogstad and the severity of her actions in committing fraud, the more she is convinced she will corrupt her own children. Nora’s questions for Anne-Marie, the nursemaid, imply she is already considering leaving her children behind. Nora does not want to be a bad mother, so she seeks ways to avoid being a mother at all.

Nora’s conversation with Anne-Marie reveals a key component of Nora’s own childhood: Anne-Marie did most of the work of raising her. We learn that Anne-Marie had to give up her own daughter to take the position as Nora’s governess. Nora is comforted by the fact that Anne-Marie can raise her children if Nora were to leave.

How does Nora intend to pay back her loan?

Before the events of the play, Nora says she has been secretly taking on odd jobs, like copying, to pay off the loan. The larger portion of her payments, however, comes from the allowance Torvald gives her. Nora is particularly excited about Torvald’s new job because it will mean more spending money for her, and therefore a quicker way out of her debt to Krogstad.

Does Dr. Rank die?

Dr. Rank tells Nora he will leave his calling card with a black cross over his name in their mailbox when he is certain he is about to die. His plan after leaving that signal is to lock himself in his home so no one will see him wasting away. At the end of the play, he does in fact leave that card in their mailbox after stopping by the Helmer apartment to give them a meaningful farewell. The action of the play ends almost directly after the calling card appears, so it is left open whether and when he dies, but it is implied that Dr. Rank has indeed passed by play’s end.

What does Torvald want?

Torvald is primarily concerned with his reputation. He wants to move up in society, and he believes he can accomplish that by giving off the appearance of a spotless man with a perfect life. He, like Nora, is excited about his new job at the bank, but he feels less secure about the position than she does. Whereas Nora thinks the promotion makes Torvald more powerful, Torvald sees it as a higher pedestal to fall from if he makes a misstep.

In addition to protecting his own upstanding image, Torvald also wants everyone around him to look reputable. He does not want to associate with Krogstad because he worries his associates at the bank will think Krogstad has influence with Torvald. He also wants to avoid giving the impression that Nora has any influence over him. Torvald would prefer to be seen as the man in complete control of his house than someone whose decisions rely on his wife’s counsel.

What drives Nora’s anxiety? 

As the play progresses, Nora’s attitude changes from giddily excited to high-strung and anxious. Her anxiety grows as she learns more about the potential consequences of acquiring a fraudulent loan. At first, she is only worried that Torvald will find out she borrowed money to save his life. Krogstad’s threats to expose her fraud and Torvald’s clear moral standards about their finances make Nora consider the personal ramifications of her actions. She does not want to sully Torvald’s reputation or position at the bank, and the more she learns about the consequences if anyone found out about her forged signature, the more Nora seems to worry about Torvald’s reaction. However, Nora hopes Torvald will nobly take responsibility for her crime. She does not want to imagine the possibility that Torvald might not take the fall and that her consequences will be her own. As the audience knows, Torvald prizes his own reputation above his love for Nora, and he is unwilling to make this sacrifice for her.