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He teases her about how she spent weeks making gifts and ornaments by hand last year because money was scarce.This year Torvald is due a promotion at the bank where he works, so Nora feels that they can let themselves go a little. Kristine Linde, an old friend of Nora's, who has come seeking employment, and Dr.Kristine arrives to help Nora repair a dress for a costume function that Torvald and she plan to attend the next day. Nora asks him for a favor, but Rank responds by revealing that he has entered the terminal stage of tuberculosis of the spine and that he has always been secretly in love with her.Torvald returns from the bank, and Nora pleads with him to reinstate Krogstad, claiming she is worried Krogstad will publish libelous articles about Torvald and ruin his career. Nora tries to deny the first revelation and make light of it, but is more disturbed by his declaration of love.Nora is offended, so she reveals that she borrowed money from "some admirer", so they could travel to Italy to improve Torvald's health.
When the others go to dinner, Nora stays behind for a few minutes and contemplates killing herself to save her husband from the shame of the revelation of her crime and to pre-empt any gallant gesture on his part to save her reputation.
The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male dominated world.
It aroused a great sensation at the time, The play opens at Christmas time as Nora Helmer enters her home carrying many packages.
Krogstad informs Nora that he has written a letter detailing her crime (forging her father's signature of surety on the bond) and put it in Torvald's mailbox, which is locked. Having had a relationship with Krogstad in the past before her marriage, Kristine says that they are still in love and promises to try to convince him to relent.
Torvald enters and tries to retrieve his mail, but Nora distracts him by begging him to help her with the dance she has been rehearsing for the costume party, feigning anxiety about performing.