A Doll's House Questions and Answers
by Henrik Ibsen

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In "A Doll's House," how does Krogstad and Mrs. Linde's relationship serve to emphasize certain qualities in the Helmers' marriage?

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In "A Doll's House," there are certain conventions and expectations which are prevalent throughout. Nora would never be permitted to borrow money without her husband's consent and she would not be allowed to work unless she was either unmarried or a widow. Accordingly, Nora has had to take extraordinary steps to secure a loan, without Torvald's knowledge and to work and save what she can so as to be able to pay off the loan. It is almost paid off but now Krogstad (who arranged Nora's loan in the first place and knows her secret) has re-emerged and threatens Nora and Torvald's seemingly perfect life as he has threatened to expose her. At first, Nora is confident that her husband "will of course pay you off at once," if necessary but she would rather he did not find out about it this way. 

Nora and Torvald's marriage is based on his need to protect his "little spendthrift," whom he treats like a child, and her willingness to reduce herself to his "little squirrel," subject to his rules, and...

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