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In Ibsen's A Doll's House, what does Nora's tree decorating and chattering at the end...
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High School Teacher
At the end of Act One of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Nora is acting particularly child-like.
When Nora enters the house, she is filled with excitement. She has been Christmas shopping. Her husband calls her by pet names to which she readily and happily answers: names such as "lark twittering," "squirrel," "spendthrift," and "featherhead." He does not speak to her as an adult. He even "takes her playfully by the ear."
Nora seems irresponsible in a childish way: if Torvald would suddenly die and leave no way to settle debts, she says she wouldn't worry about paying the money back; she wouldn't care.
Nora has secretly brought candy that she eats and hides, wiping her mouth to remove evidence of what she has eaten.
Just now. [Puts the bag of macaroons into her pocket and wipes her mouth.] Come in here, Torvald, and see what I have bought.
When Torvald takes out money, just like a child, Nora becomes really excited. When Torvald asks what she wants for Christmas, Nora is flirtatious:
[playing with his coat buttons, and without raising her eyes to his]. If you really want to give me something, you might—you might—
Well, out with it!
[speaking quickly]. You might give me money, Torvald.
As the conversation continues, Torvald indulgently accuses Nora of sneaking sweets:
[wagging his finger at her]. Hasn't Miss Sweet-Tooth been breaking rules in town to-day?
Like a kid, Nora views the upcoming holidays with great anticipation. She is delighted by the gifts she has bought, and is trying hard to keep her Christmas plans a secret. In essence, although Nora is a wife and mother, she is still very much a child, and Torvald supports this behavior, seemingly pleased with her subordinate position.
She is sensitive, sensible, and completely unaware of her own worth until the last act of the play.
Posted by booboosmoosh on January 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM (Answer #1)
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