Torvald Holmer’s refusal to borrow money displays the character of a proud and controlling man. Helmer provided the financial support for his family through hard work, not depending on others for money. When Torvald’s law practice did not provide financially, he sought a job at the bank. After Helmer received a promotion at the bank, Nora felt they could now afford to be extravagant for Christmas. Nora says, “This is the first Christmas that we have not needed to economize. ” Torvald announces that his promotion is not until “.
. . after the New Year,” so Nora blurts out “. .
. we can borrow till then. ” Helmer interprets Nora’s spending of money as wasteful and foolish, telling her “That is like a woman! . .
. There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. ” Obviously Torvald earns and manages the money in the house, and he attributes Nora’s lack of understanding of these matters to her gender. Torvald views a woman’s place to beautify the home through proper management of domestic life, behavior, and appearance. Helmer demeans Nora about spending in calling her “sweet little spendthrift, but she sure uses up a deal of money .
. . ” After accusing Nora of being irresponsible with money, Torvald rejoices at her dependence on him stating, “. . . Is my little squirrel out of temper? .
. . what do you think I have here?” Nora exclaims, “Money!” Torvald finds merriment in watching her happy reaction to him giving her money, and Nora saying, “. . . Thank you, thank you, .
. . ” This illustrates the helplessness of Nora and her dependence on Helmer, causing him to feel in control. 8. Nora’s secret crime confessed to Christine Linde, a childhood friend, had been to save her deathly ill husband’s life by borrowing money. She borrowed the money from Krogstad, without getting her husband’s permission.
As Nora and Christine palaver about their lives, Nora explains the financial hardships they had. “. . .
Torvald left his office . . . There was no prospect of promotion . .
. during the first year he overworked himself dreadfully . . . but he could not stand it, and fell dreadfully ill, and the doctors said it was necessary for him to go south. ” Since he was in danger of dying, Nora’s explanation was that the doctors urged them to live in the South for a year; yet they thought Helmer should not know how ill he really was.
Trying to convince Torvald to give into her whims of traveling south, Nora tells him that her father gave her the money because Helmer would not hear of borrowing money for this purpose. The justification Nora gives in lying to Torvald about the money is “Torvald would find it embarrassing and humiliating to learn that he owed me anything. ” Nora defends her actions as warranted because she has paid on the loan by doing odd jobs and using her allowance. Nora faces a new problem when Krogstad comes to her home and demands that she speak to Helmer for him. Krogstad wants to keep his job at the bank to gain back his reputation for the sake of his sons.
Nora worries that Krogstad would tell her husband about the loan, but Krogstad informs her about the serious crime she has committed. He speaks of “an indiscretion” that he committed, which never went to court, but made it difficult for him to advance in his career. Forging her father’s signature on the promissory note, Krogstad informs Nora was the same serious offense that caused him to lose his reputation. Nora cannot imagine a law that would not approve of a wife saving her husband.
“. . . I do not know much about the law, but I am certain that there must be laws permitting such things . . .
” At her husband’s return home, Nora discovers Helmer’s opinion of Krogstad’s reputation. Torvald does not want Nora to have anything to do with Krogstad because “. . . a guilty man has to lie and play the hypocrite .
. . how he has to wear a mask in the presence of