A Doll’s House Summary by Henrik Ibsen – A Husband & Wife Story

Before starting A Doll’s House Summary let’s discuss the novel writer. Henrik Ibsen was born in March 20, 1828 and died May 23, 1906. He was a playwright, theater director, and poet. A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is a very famous novel. In Theater A house dolls play at the Royal Theater.

Let’s start A Doll’s House Summary, analysis and Characters.

A Doll’s House Summary Act 1

A doll’s house is a novel published by Henrik Ibsen in 1879. It begins with Nora Helmer arriving home after a little Christmas shopping. She eats a macaroon and checks to see if her husband, Torvald Helmer is home. He is, and he comes out of his study where he has been working. Torvald teases Nora. First, he teases her about the amount of money she must have spent out Christmas shopping. Nora feels that they can afford it since Torvald has gotten his new job at a bank. They had before been in financial trouble but finally got themselves out of it. Even still, Torvald reminds her that he only gets paid 4 times a year.

Nora reasons that if they run out of money than they could always take out a bank loan. Torvald gets very angry at this suggestion. He hates borrowing money and can’t believe Nora would even make that suggestion. But, he forgives her after he thinks out loud that she is a women and thus doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Then the conversation goes to their upcoming Christmas party. They’re happy that the tough financial times are behind them.

Nora makes sure that their friend Doctor Rank will be coming to the party. A woman named Mrs. Linde comes in and Nora realize it’s one of her very old friends. Mrs. Linde is unfortunately a widower without children. Talking with Mrs. Linde reminds Nora of when she almost lost her husband a year before.

Torvald had gotten deathly sick and the doctors said the only thing that could save his life was a long vacation in the sun. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any money to spare. Thankfully, Nora came up with 250 pounds so they could go. Nora claims that her now-deceased father gave it to them. But she hints to Mrs Linde that it came through other means Mrs. Linde has come to Nora to ask for help in finding a job. Mrs. Linde hoping that Torvald can get her a job at the bank. Mrs. Linde says Nora can’t understand her struggle as she’s a child. She hasn’t ever had to struggle in her life.

Mrs. Linde has offered Nora, who defends herself and says that’s simply not true. Nora confesses that when Torvald refused to get a loan for their trip to Italy, Nora got one himself. Since then, she’s been saving money to make the loan payments. Then Torvald comes out of his study. It seems that Torvald will be able to find Mrs. Linde a job. Krogstad, a bank employee, comes to the Helmer’s house. Nora speaks with him and Krogstad states that he knows Torvald plans to fire him. Krogstad asks Nora to help him keep his job. When she refuses, he blackmails her.We learn that Krogstad is the one who lent Nora the money. Even more, Krogstad gets Nora to admit that she forged her father’s signature on the loan document. Nora foolishly dated her father’s signature as October 2nd, even though he died on the 29th of September.

A Doll’s House Summary Act 2

It’s Christmas day and Nora is going crazy with worry. She wonders if Krogstad could actually ruin her life. Then, Nora talks with her nurse. The nurse suspects that Doctor Rank, the family friend, is the one who provided Nora with the 250 pounds. Nora dismisses this suggestion. Then, Torvald gets home and Nora begs him to not fire Krogstad. Yet, Torvald refuses. Torvald is planning to give Krogstad’s position to Mrs. Linde. Torvald boasts and states that his reputation is perfect. He can’t work with someone with a bad reputation like Krogstad. Then, he sends a messenger to deliver Krogsta’s dismissal. Nora Begs him to bring the messenger back, but Torvald refuses and goes into his study to work.
Later, Doctor Rank confesses his love to Nora but she rejects him. Krogstad comes to Nora’s house and threatens her again. This time, Krogstad wants a higher up position and is willing to blackmail Nora and her husband to get it.

Krogstad leaves after having dropped a letter in Torvald’s mailbox. This letter details Nora’s crimes. Torvald tries to get his mail, but Nora keeps preventing him. She says that she needs help with her dancing and occupies him for the entire night. In the meantime, Nora sends Mrs. Linde to try to get Krogstad to reconsider.

A Doll’s House Summary Act 3

Mrs. Linde is speaking with Krogstad at the Helmer’’s house. Krogstad is bitter towards Mrs. Linde. We learn that Mrs. Linde left Krogstad after a richer man came around. Mrs Linde defends herself. She says that she only did what she did to provide for her mother and her two young brothers. Unfortunately, Krogstad was not a reliable source of income in the past. But, Mrs. Linde says that they are both single now and could live their lives together. By the end of their talk, Mrs Linde convinces Krogstad that he should leave letter and allow Torvald read it. She thinks that the secrecy is toxic. Torvald finally reads the letter from Krogstad and he is enraged. He even says that he doesn’t trust Nora to raise their children any longer.

Nora will remain in the house, but only to keep up appearances. Then, another letter comes from Krogstad and it’s the bond. Krogstad has decided to forget about the matter, and the Helmers reputation is secure. Unfortunately, the marriage is completely destroyed in Nora’s eyes. Nora realizes that Torvald never loved her. Instead, he loved the idea of being in love with her. She realizes that she needs to educate herself. She realizes that she has a responsibilities to be more independent. She needs to defend herself in the complicated world she lives in. She even begins to doubt her religion. She’s sick and tired of men telling her what to think. For once in her life, she’s determined to takes her life into her own hands.

A Doll’s House Characters

Nora Helmer, Nils Krogstad, Helene, Torvald Helmer, Emmy Helmer, Bobby Helmer, Mrs. Linde, Anne-Marie, Dr. Rank, Ivar Helmer.

I hope you will have understood the complete “A Doll’s House Summary” of the Novel. If you are interested to read the complete novel you can download or buy A Doll’s House PDF.

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