A Doll's House

doll house

A opens as Nora Helmer is telling Helene, the maid, to hide the tree from the children. Nora, who is treated as a silly, childish woman by her husband, Torvald, is the protagonist of the play. Her friend Christine Linde, recently widowed and short of money, has heard about Torvald's recent promotion at the bank and comes to ask Nora for help in persuading Torvald to give her (Christine) a job. Nora promises to ask Torvald to give Christine a position as secretary. Nora confides to Christine that she once secretly borrowed money to save Torvald's life when he was very ill, but she has not told him in order to protect his pride. At the same time, Nora finds herself the victim of blackmail. Krogstad threatens to reveal this information unless she convinces her husband to keep him employed. Nora tries but fails.

After being fired by Torvald, Krogstad approaches Nora, declaring he no longer cares about the remaining balance of her loan but will preserve the bond to blackmail Torvald into keeping him employed. Krogstad informs Nora that he has written a letter detailing her crime and puts it in Torvald's mailbox, which is locked.

Nora tells Christine of her predicament. Torvald tries to check his mail before he and Nora go to a New Year's party, but Nora distracts him by showing him the dance she has been rehearsing for the party. Krogstad is moved and offers to take back his letter to Torvald. However, Christine decides that Torvald should know the truth for the sake of his and Nora's marriage.

doll house

Torvald goes to read his letters and Nora prepares to take her life. Before she has the opportunity, Torvald intercepts her, confronting her with Krogstad's letter. A maid enters, delivering a letter to Nora. Krogstad has returned the incriminating papers, saying that he regrets his actions. Torvald is jubilant, telling Nora he is saved as he burns the papers. Torvald's love is highly conditional. Torvald insists she must fulfill her duty as a wife and mother, but Nora believes she also has duties to herself. From Torvald's reaction to Krogstad's letters, Nora sees that she and Torvald are strangers to each other. The play ends with Nora leaving, while Torvald hopefully ponders the possibility of "the greatest miracle of all."

By closing the door, Nora leaves Torvald and that life behind forever. If Nora leaves it open, it leaves the possibility of her going back.

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