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In A Doll's House, what does Nora tell Helene to do with the Christmas tree?

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Hootie64 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM via web

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In A Doll's House, what does Nora tell Helene to do with the Christmas tree?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 23, 2013 at 10:04 PM (Answer #1)

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In Ibsen's A Doll's House, the protagonist Nora is virtually like a "doll" in her own home--she is dressed up and paraded about by her husband Torvald.  The play is set during Christmas time, and the Christmas tree turns out to be an important symbol in the play.  When Nora brings home the tree, she tells the maid Helene to put the tree up so that the children will not see it before it is all decorated.  Over the next little while, Nora decorates the tree in private, not allowing anyone to see it until all the decorations have been attached.  Once the tree is decorated, then everyone can look upon its beauty.  In the same way, Nora is "decorated" in her role as the ideal housewife, and no one can see her unless she bears her "decorations."  By the end of the play, Nora realizes that she has been robbed of her identity, and she sheds her "decorations" in search of her true self.

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