A Doll's House Act 2 Summary

Act two begins with Kristine Linde coming to visit Nora and help her fix up the costume she is supposed to wear to the party. They talk about Dr. Rank, who Nora says is sick. Kristine suspects that he is the man that Nora borrowed the money from, but Nora tells her that he is not although she thinks he likely would give her money if she asked for it since they are such good friends. In order to get out of her debt to Krogstad, she thinks it might be worth it to talk to Dr. Rank.

Her husband arrives home, so she sends Kristine off to see the children. She tries to talk to Torvald about not firing Krogstad, but he has already decided. He does not want to keep a man of such ill repute employed. He also does not like the way that Krogstad treats him so familiarly instead of as a superior. If he did keep him on, Torvald thinks it would look bad that he is caving to the whims of his wife. Therefore, he gives the maid Krogstad's dismissal letter to deliver immediately. Nora is worried about what will happen, but Torvald thinks she is only worried about his reputation, which he finds endearing.

Torvald goes into his study to work, and Dr. Rank arrives. Nora thinks about telling him her secret and asking him for the money, but then Dr. Rank decides to tell Nora that he has always loved her. She feels uncomfortable, and knowing this information, decides it would be inappropriate to take advantage of him, so she does not ask him for the money. She tells him instead that she has a secret costume that she is working on for Torvald and asks Dr. Rank to go in and talk to Torvald to distract him, so Dr. Rank exits into the study.

Krogstad has since arrives and comes in to talk to Nora about being fired. He says that even if she paid him the full amount of the loan, he would not tear up the contract. He wants more than that. He tells her not to think of doing anything desperate, such as leaving her family or killing herself, which she admits she wouldn't have the courage to do. He tells her what he really wants is for her husband to create a new higher position for him at the bank. He has written a letter to Torvald explaining the entire situation, and he expects that Torvald will give him what he wants. Krogstad drops the letter in the mailbox as he leaves.

Kristine reenters the room after having worked on Nora's costume. Nora tells Kristine about the letter in the mailbox, and Kristine realizes that it was Krogstad who loaned Nora the money. She asks Kristine to help her get the letter back. She wants her to go to Krogstad and convince him to ask for his letter back from Torvald before Torvald reads it. Nora tries to distract Torvald by asking him to help her practice the tarantella, the dance she is supposed to perform at the costume party. Dr. Rank offers to play the piano so that Torvald help her. Nora dances wildly until Kristine returns. Nora tells Torvald he shouldn't do anything but help her until the time of the party. He realizes that she's trying to keep him from the mailbox. When he finally leaves the room, Kristine tells Nora that Krogstad has left town and won't be back until the next evening, so she wrote him a note. Nora figures out that she has only thirty-one hours until the party and to figure out what to do.

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