Nora Helmer is, for once, enjoying life. Mrs. Linde, an old friend stops by hoping to find a job. Nora's husband Torvald recently earned a promotion, so Nora recommends Mrs. Linde’s services to her husband, Torvald. Nora, however, is carrying a dark secret. When Torvald was very ill, she forged her dead father's signature in order to illegally obtain a loan to support the family, and has secretly been paying back the loan in small installments saved from her housekeeping money.Nils Krogstad, an employee at Torvald’s bank, collects the debt payments and knows Nora’s secret, as he has a copy of the loan agreement. Trying to consolidate his position at the bank, which he has obtained with difficulty after being arrested himself for forgery in order to gain money, he attempts blackmail. Nora manages to conceal her guilt from her husband and from Dr. Rank, a kind yet sickly friend of the Helmers.Suspicious that Krogstad has criminial tendencies, Torvald attempts to remove him from his post and replace him with Mrs. Linde; Nora is forced to try to dissuade him. She attempts to gain Dr. Rank’s confidence and help, but is repulsed when she finds that Rank has always loved her.Mrs. Linde tells Nora that she had a romantic attachment to Krogstad in the past, and that she can perhaps persuade him to relent. However, Krogstad does not sway in his position. It seems that Torvald is bound to discover the truth and Nora contemplates suicide. She believes that if she does not commit suicide, Torvald will bravely assume responsibility for her crimes, going to jail on her behalf.Krogstad and Mrs. Linde are reconciled, and the loan agreement is destroyed. However, Krogstad’s letter of denciation is still in the glass-fronted mailbox, where Nora can see it but not retrieve it.After returning from a party , Nora and Torvald unwind at home. Torvald discusses how he enjoys watching her at parties, pretending that he is encountering her for the first time. Dr. Rank interrupts them, hinting that he will be shutting himself up in his room until his sickness finally wins.Torvald discovers Krogstad's incriminating note. He declares that Nora is immoral, unfit as a wife and mother. The irony is that moments before, Torvald has been discussing how he wished that Nora faced some sort of peril, so that he could prove his love for her. Yet, once that peril is actually presented, he has no intention of saving her, only condemning her actions.Krogstad drops another note saying that he has rediscovered love, and that he no longer wants to blackmail the Helmer family. Torvald rejoices, declaring that they are saved. He then, in a moment of sheer hypocrisy, states that he forgives Nora, and that he still loves her as his little "caged song bird."In a flash, Nora realizes that Torvald is not the loving, selfless husband she had once envisioned. With that epiphany, she also comes to understand that their marriage has been a lie, and that she herself has been an active part in the deception. Torvald desperately begs her to stay.
“What was the play like?”
“It was OK. But there was a BABY in it! A REAL baby! It was soooooooo cute! It was being carried by someone! In a blanket! It was soooooooo cute! It had a nose! And eyes! And little hands! And some hair!”