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Nora and Torvald do not have an equal partnership in their marriage. Torvald would never consider Nora his equal. He calls her silly little nicknames, scolds her like a child, and views her as his possession.
Torvald feels as if he should have the right to limit her intake of sweets, and chastises her when she cheats. He calls her a spendthrift, and she must beg for money for things.
Nora performs for Torvald at his request, as if she is an entertainer and not a wife. Nora has a secret that is causing her great anguish. Nora does not want to get into "trouble" with Torvald over a forgery that was needed to save his life. She struggles with this secret, and instinctively knows he will not tolerate her transgression.
Once the truth is out, Nora realizes she does not want to be in the type of marriage she is in, and walks away from it, leaving him stunned. Torvald would never have thought her capable of it. He thought she would have to live with whatever type of reaction he chose to have.
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