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Doll House Questions and Answers

Read the excerpt below and then answer the questions that follow

Mrs. Linde: Yes, that was what I was thinking of. 

Nora: He must, Christine. Just leave it to me; I will broach the subject very cleverly- I will think of something that will please him very much. It will make me so happy to be of some use to you.           

Mrs. Linde: How kind you are, Nora, to be so anxious to help me! It is doubly kind of you, for youknow so little of the burdens and troubles of life. 

Nora: I -? I know so little of them? 

Mrs. Linde: (Smiling) My dear! Small household cares and that sort of thing! – You are a child,Nora. 

Nora: (tosses her head and crosses the stage) You ought not to be so superior, Mrs. Linde: No? 

Nora: You are just like the others. They all think that I am

incapable of anything really serious- 

Mrs. Linde: Come, come – 

Nora: – that I have gone through nothing in this world of cares. 

Mrs. Linde: But, my dear Nora, you have just told me all your troubles. 

Nora: Pooh! – those were trifles. (Lowering her voice) I have not told you the important thing. 

Mrs. Linde: The important thing? What do you mean? 

Nora: You look down upon me altogether, Christine – but you ought not to. You are proud, aren’t you, of having worked so hard and so long for your mother? 

Mrs. Linde: Indeed, I don’t look down on anyone. But it is true that I am both proud and glad to think that I was privileged to make the end of my mother’s life almost free from care.

Nora: And you are proud to think of what you have done for your brothers? 

Mrs. Linde: I think I have the right to be. 

Nora: I think so, too. But now, listen to this: I too have something to be proud and glad of. Mrs. Linde: I have no doubt you have. But what do you refer to? 

Nora: Speak low. Suppose Torvald were to hear! He mustn’t on any account – no one in the world must know, Christine, except you. 

Mrs. Linde: But what is it? 


Nora: Come here. (Pulls her down on the sofa beside her.)  Now I will show you that I too have something to be proud and glad of. 


  1. What does Mrs. Linde refer to when she says “that was what I was thinking of”? (2mks) 
  2. How do you compare Mrs. Linde’s reference to Nora as a child and Torvalds Helmer’s of her from the text? (2mks) 
  3. Describe characters of: (4mks) 

i) Mrs. Linde:  ii) Nora: 

  • What is Mrs. Linde’s attitude towards Nora? (2mks) 
  • From your knowledge of the text, why does Nora refuse to tell her secret to her husband? (3mks) 
  • Rewrite the following in reported speech (2mks) 

Nora: You look down upon me altogether, Christine – but you ought not to . 

  • What is ironical about Nora’s assertion that ‘no one in the world must know, Christine, except you.’ And what does this reveal about Nora’s character? (3mks) 
  • Explain any aspect of style inherent in the above excerpt. (2mks) 
  1. Identify and illustrate any theme evident in this excerpt (2mks) 
  • Change the sentence below into a interrogative one. (1mk)   I think I have the right to be. 
  • Explain the meaning of the following expressions as used in the passage. (2mks) 

i)  Broach      –      ii)  Look down on



Nora: (jumping up and going to him) oh, dear, nice Doctor Rank, I never meant that at all. 

But surely you can understand that being with Torvald is a little like being with Papa – (enter MAID from the hallMaid: if you please, ma’am. (Whispers and hands her a card) Nora: (glancing at the card) oh! (Puts it into her pocket) Rank: is there anything wrong? 

Nora: No, no, not in the least. It is only something – it is my new dress –  Rank: what? Your dress is lying there.  Nora: Oh, yes, that one: but this is another. I ordered it. Torvald mustn’t know about it –  Rank: Oho! Then was the great secret.  Nora: Of course. Just go in to him: he is sitting in the inner room. Keep him as long as –  Rank: Make our mind easy; I won’t let him escape (goes into HELMER’S room) Nora: (to the MAID) And he is standing waiting in the kitchen? Maid: Yes; he came up the back stairs.  Nora: But didn’t you tell him no one was in? Maid: Yes, but it was no good. 

Nora: He won’t go away? 

Maid: No; he says he won’t until he has seen you, ma’am. 


Nora: Well, let him come in – but quietly. Helen you mustn’t say anything about it to anyone. It is a surprise for my husband. 

Maid: Yes, ma’am, I quite understand. (exit

Nora: This dreadful thing is going to happen! It will happen in spite of me! No, no, no, it can’t happen – it shan’t happen! 

 QUESTION 2  (25 marks)  

  1. Place this excerpt in its immediate context                  (3 mks) 
  2. Indentify and illustrate  the character trait of the following characters    (4 mks)

 i)Rank              ii)Nora 

  • Who is in the kitchen and why has he come?      (3mks) 
  • Identify and illustrate the dominant theme in the excerpt.  (2mks) 

h) “This dreadful thing is going to happen. “Rewrite

                             in reported speech.                                                       (1mk)

i)Explain the dreadful thing that Nora fears  happen?                                                                         2 mks) 

   j) Explain the meaning of the following expressions as used in the excerpt.                                                       (3 mks

i) Make your mind easy – 

ii) I won’t  let him escape –  

iii) It was no good 

iv) Dreadful  –  

  • “……… being with Torvald is a little like being with papa” what does Nora mean by this 

                                             statement?                                                             (2mks)

  • Explain an incidence of dramatic irony  from the excerpt.                                                           (2mks)
  • Why is Nora quick to usher Dr. Rank out          2 mks) of the room?   

EXCERPT 3  Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Revision

Read the extract below and answer the questions that follow. (25 marks)  

Nora:  It’s a shame to say that. I do really save all I can.  Helmer:(laughing)That’s very true, – all you can. But you can’t save anything! 

Nora: (smiling quietly and happily)You haven’t any idea how many expenses we skylarks and squirrels have, Torvald. 

Helmer: You are an odd little soul. Very like your father. You always find some new way of wheedling money out of me, and as soon as you have got it, it seems to melt in your hands. You never know where it has gone. Still, one must take you

as you are. It is in the blood: for indeed it is true that you can inherit these things, Nora. 

Nora: Ah, I wish I had inherited many of papa’s qualities. 

Helmer:And I would not wish you to be anything but just what you are, my little skylark. But do you know, it strikes me that you are looking-rather—what shall I say- rather uneasy today? 

Nora: Do I? 

Helmer: You do, really. Look straight at me.  3

Nora : ( looks at him) well? 

Helmer: (wagging his finger at her) Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today? 

Nora:  No; what makes you think that? 

Helmer: Hasn’t she paid a visit to the confectioner’s?  Nora: No, I assure you, Torvald- Helmer: Not been nibbling sweets? 

Nora:  No, certainly not. 

Helmer: Not even take a bite at a macaroon or two? 

Nora:  (going to the table on the right) I shouldn’t think of going against your wishes. 

Helmer: No, I am sure of that: besides, you gave me your word(Going up to her) Keep your little Christmas secrets to yourself, my darling. They will be revealed tonight when the Christmas tree is lit, no doubt. 

Nora: Did you remember to invite Doctor Rank? 

Helmer: No. But there is no need; as a matter of course, he will come to dinner with us. However, I will ask him when he comes this morning. I have ordered some good wine. Nora, you can’t think how I am looking forward to this evening. 

Nora: So am I! And how the children will enjoy themselves, Torvald! 

Helmer: It is splendid to feel that one has a perfectly safe appointment, and a big enough income. It is delightful to

think of, isn’t it? 

Nora: It’s wonderful! 

  1. Place this extract in its immediate context. (4 marks) 
  2. Explain the dramatic irony in this extract.  (3marks) 
  3. Helmer says here, “it is splendid to feel that one has a perfectly safe appointment”. 

What is he referring to? (1 mark) 

  • What issues on money and gender emerge in this extract?
    • marks) 
  • Identify and illustrate any two ways the playwright has used language to achieve foregrounding in this extract. 
    • marks) 
  • What do we learn about the character of Nora in this extract? (4 marks) 
  • Imagine you are directing this play. Which quality would you look for in an actor to play the role of Torvald?


  • Explain the meaning of the following expressions as used in the extract? (3 marks) 


  1. Wheedling money out of me  ii) Confectioner’s   iii) You gave me your word 

EXCERPT 4: Revision of A Doll’s House 

Read the excerpt below and then answer the questions that follow.  

Nora. What right have you to question me, Mr.Krogstad?–You, one of my husband’s subordinates! But since you ask, you shall know. Yes, Mrs. Linde is to have an appointment. And it was I who pleaded her cause, Mr. Krogstad, let me tell you that. 

Krogstad. I was right in what I thought, then. 

Nora (walking up and down the stage). Sometimes one has a tiny little bit of influence, I should hope. Because one is a woman, it does not necessarily follow that–. When anyone is in a subordinate position, Mr. Krogstad, they should really be careful to avoid offending anyone who–who– Krogstad. Who has influence?  Nora. Exactly. 

Krogstad (changing his tone). Mrs. Helmer, you will be so good as to use your influence on my behalf.   

Nora. What? What do you mean? 

Krogstad. You will be so kind as to see that I am allowed to keep my subordinate position in the Bank. 

Nora. What do you mean by that? Who proposes to take your post away from you? 

Krogstad. Oh, there is no necessity to keep up the pretence of ignorance. I can quite understand that your friend is not very anxious to expose herself to the chance of rubbing shoulders with me; and I quite understand, too, whom I have to thank for being turned off. 

Nora. But I assure you– 

Krogstad. Very likely; but, to come to the point, the time has come when I should advise you to use your influence to prevent that. 

Nora. But, Mr. Krogstad, I have no influence. 

Krogstad. Haven’t you? I thought you said yourself just now– 

Nora. Naturally I did not mean you to put that construction on it. I! What should make you think I have any influence of that kind with my husband? 

Krogstad. Oh, I have known your husband from our student days. I don’t suppose he is any more unassailable than other husbands. 

Nora. If you speak slightingly of my husband, I shall turn you out of the house. 

Krogstad. You are bold, Mrs. Helmer. 

Nora. I am not afraid of you any longer. As soon as the New Year comes, I shall in a very short time be free of the whole thing. 

Krogstad (controlling himself ). Listen to me, Mrs.Helmer. If necessary, I am prepared to fight for my small post in the Bank as if I were fighting for my life. 

Nora. So it seems. 

Krogstad. It is not only for the sake of the money; indeed, that weighs least with me in the matter. There is another reason–well, I may as well tell you. My position is this. I daresay you know, like everybody else, that once, many years ago, I was guilty of an indiscretion. 

Nora. I think I have heard something of the kind. 

Krogstad. The matter never came into court; but every way seemed to be closed to me after that. So I took to the business that you know of. I had to do something; and, honestly, I don’t think I’ve been one of the worst. But now I must cut myself free from all that. My sons are growing up; for their sake I must try and win back as much respect as I can in the town. This post in the Bank was like the first step up for me–and now your husband is going to kick me downstairs again into the mud. Nora. But you must believe me, Mr. Krogstad; it is not in my power to help you at all. Krogstad. Then it is because you haven’t the will; but I have means to compel you. 


  • Krogstad asks four questions just before this excerpt. Which are they?  (4marks) 
  • For what reasons has Krogstad visited Nora? Refer to what happens in the excerpt and in the rest of the play.     


  • “I was right in what I thought, then.” What do you think Krogstad thought?   (2marks) 
  • Describe two-character traits of Nora as brought out in the excerpt.               (4marks) 
  • Rewrite the sentences according to the instructions given after each without changing their meanings. (2marks)  i. If you speak slightingly of my husband, I shall turn you out of the house. Use: Unless…

ii. So it seems. supply a question tag  

  • Highlight two themes evident in this excerpt.                      (4marks) 
  • “Then it is because you haven’t the will; but I have means to compel you.” How does Krogstad plan to force Nora to talk to her husband?            (3marks) 
  • Write a word with the same meaning as each of the following words as used in the excerpt.(3marks) 

         i. Necessity        ii) Pleaded            iii) Influence   

EXCERPT 5: A Doll’s House  

Helmer:  I have got authority from the retiring manager to undertake the necessary changes in the staff and in the rearrangement of the work and I must make use of the Christmas week for that, so as to have everything in order for the New Year, Nora. Then that was why this poor Krogstad- 

Helmer:  Hm! 

Nora:   (Leans against the back of his chair and strokes his hair) If you hadn’t been so busy I should have asked you a tremendously big favour, Torvald. 

Helmer:  What is that? Tell me. 

Nora:   There is no one who has such good taste as you. And I do so want to look nice at the fancy dress ball. Tovarld.  Couldn’t you take my hand and decide what I shall go as, and what sort of dress I shall wear? 

Aha! So my obstinate little woman is obliged to get Helmer:  someone to come to her rescue. 

Nora:       Yes, Torvald, I can’t get along a bit without your help. 

Very well. I will think it over; we shall manage to hit Helmer:  upon something 

That is nice of you (goes to the Christmas tree; a

Nora:  short pause) How pretty the red  flowers look, but tell me, was it really something very bad that this Krogstad was guilty of? 


Helmer:  He forged someone’s name. Have you any idea what that means?  Nora: 

Isn’t it possible that he was driven by necessity?  Helmer: 

Yes; or, as in so many cases, by imprudence. I am not Nora:  so heartless as to condemn a man altogether because Helmer:  of a single false step of that kind. 

No, you wouldn’t, would you, Torvald? 


Many a man has been able to retrieve his character, if Helmer:  he has openly confessed his fault and taken his punishment. 

Punishment -? 

But Krogstard did nothing of the sort; he got himself out of it by a cunning trick, and that is why he was gone under altogether.   

Nora:       But do you think it would -? 

Helmer:  Just think how a guilty man like that has to lie and play the hypocrite with everyone; how he has to wear a mask in the presence of those near dear to him, even before his own wife and children. And about the children ……… that is the most terrible part of it all, Nora. 

Nora:       How? 

Helmer:  Because such an atmosphere of lies infects and poisons the whole life of home. Each breath the children take in such a house is full of the germs of evil. 

Nora:       (coming near him) Are you sure of that? 

Helmer:  My dear I have often seen it in the course of my life

as a lawyer. Almost everyone who has gone to the bad early in life has had a deceitful mother.  Nora:  Why do you say ……….. mother? 


  1. Explain the events that lead to this excerpt.                                           


  • In this excerpt, though Helmer and Nora are discussing about Krogstad, they are indirectly referring to Nora’s

predicament. Explain.                                             (4marks)  

  • ‘……… so my obstinate little woman is obliged to get someone to her rescue? Explain the 

‘rescue’ Nora needs at this point in time.     (4marks)   7

  • From your knowledge of the text, apart from the fact that Krogstad had forged a signature why else does Helmer

detest him?                                                               (2marks)  

  • Describe any two styles used in this excerpt   (6marks)  
  • Give one character trait of Nora from this excerpt. (2marks)  
  • Add a question tag: I can’t get a long a bit without your help                                    (1mark)  
  • The discussion with Helmer leaves Nora terrified. Explain why this is so going by what happens immediately after

this excerpt                        

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