Discussion Topic

The reasons behind the different Christmas experience for Nora and her husband in A Doll's House


The different Christmas experiences for Nora and her husband in A Doll's House stem from their contrasting perspectives and secrets. Nora is preoccupied with repaying her secret loan, while her husband, unaware of her financial struggles, is focused on his career and societal status. This disparity highlights the underlying tensions and lack of honest communication in their marriage.

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Why will Christmas be different for Nora and her husband in A Doll's House?

This Christmas is different because Torvald, Nora's husband, has recently been promoted at the bank where he works. Nora sees this promotion as an end to her financial struggles and a way to pay off the loan that she secretly obtained to provide her husband with a long vaction that the family doctor insisted was necessary to save Torvald's life. Nora has been secretly working every Christmas, scrimping on the household expenses, and taking in sewing behind Torvald's back to pay off this loan. Though she has no intention of telling Torvald about the loan, she does anticipate a larger allowance that will let her pay off the loan more easily.

The conflict arises when Krogstad blackmails Nora in order to keep his job. He knows of the loan and knows that it was obtained illegally, since her father's signature as co-signer was forged. One might say that this Christmas is different because Nora knows that it will likely be the last one with Torvald if he learns of her deciet.

Use the links below to see a summary of the play and an overview of the play's themes.

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Why will Christmas be different for Nora and Helmer in A Doll's House?

Early in the play Nora and Torvald discuss the idea that this Christmas will be different - and better - than in previous years.

Torvald has been promoted at the bank. His salary has been increased. The family had been living on a tight budget and now, soon, will be able to spend money more easily. Torvald emphasizes the fact that the family is still under some constraints and cannot spend freely, but both he and Nora are relieved to have the promise of more money in the new year. 

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