A Doll’s House: Synopsis

January 2-27, 2013


It is holiday time and Nora Helmer has been busily preparing for the festive occasion.  Her husband Torvald is a lawyer who is about to take over the position of director bank where he works. They have three small children and what looks like a bright future ahead of them. Nora, however, has been harboring a secret that could unravel their apparently happy family life.

Early in their marriage Torvald became very ill, and doctors advised him to stay in a warmer climate to hopefully cure his infection.  As a young couple with very little money, Nora knew that this trip would save Torvald’s life, so she had to secretly get hold of the funds for the journey. She borrowed money from Krogstad, a lawyer who had been a classmate of Torvald`s. In order to secure the loan, she she forged her dying father`s signature. Torvald recovered, but never knew of his wife’s efforts. Ever since Nora has used part of the housekeeping money in order to pay back the loan with interest.  She has also taken on small jobs to earn some money herself.

An old friend of Nora’s, Mrs. Linde, has come to town to look for work, and Nora begs Torvald to give her a job at the bank. In order to do this kindness for her friend, it means that Torvald must dismiss Krogstad from his position at the bank.  In desperation Krogstad goes to Nora and threatens to tell Torvald about the loan and the forgery unless he is allowed to keep his job. Nora is in anguish, but believes that in Torvald’s love for her, he will sacrifice himself and take full responsibility for what she has done, if he learns the truth behind her past actions.

Nora considers asking Dr. Rank, a friend of the family, for the money, but when he declares his love for her, she finds it impossible to ask him. Torvald finds out what has happened, and reacts with anger and loathing, showing no willingness to take responsibility for Nora’s forgery. Mrs. Linde, who was in love with Krogstad in the past, convinces him to change his mind and withdraw his threats.  Even though the danger to their tidy life has passed, Nora begins to see that her marriage is not what she thought it was, and a confrontation with Torvald she determines that her most important and only duty is to herself where she must go out into the world on her own to try and grow up, and she leaves her husband and children.