In Act 2, why does Torvald make such a decisive show of mailing the letter firing Krogstad against Nora’s pleas?

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slcollins eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Torvald’s decisive action in mailing Krogstad’s dismissal letter is a statement cementing his authority as a male in the household. When Nora begs for Krogstad to keep his job, she is questioning Torvald’s authority in the family, and therefore in society. The fact that she even dared to ask shows Nora as more than just a weak female; she is questioning the basis of society. Torvald is trying to put his wife in her place, reminding her (and the audience) that the men, and men alone, make the decisions in the house. Ibsen’s decision to have Torvald mail that letter against Nora’s pleas also shows Torvald’s disgust for those he deems morally inferior. Krogstad fits this description due to his lies and forgery. Nora also fits this description, though, with her forgery and lying to Torvald about the loan. 

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A Doll's House

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