1. What is so significant about the Black Cross? 2. What act does Nora contemplate committing? Who else has had this same thought? Why can't she do it? Would this solve the problem? Why/Why not? 3....

1. What is so significant about the Black Cross?

2. What act does Nora contemplate committing? Who else has had this same thought? Why can't she do it? Would this solve the problem? Why/Why not?

3. How does Christine plan to help Nora? What have we learnt about her past in this scene?

4. What is so significant about the Tarantella? What does the end of the party mean for Nora?

 

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The black cross that appears on top of Dr. Rank's name in Act III of A Doll's House signifies, as Nora explains to Torvald, the imminent death of the doctor who was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine.

He told me that when the cards came it would be his leave-taking from us. He means to shut himself up and die.

This is also a type of foreshadowing, as his terminal illness is announced shortly before the final goodbyes of Nora and Torvald. 

In Act II Nora contemplates committing suicide after Krogstad demands that she ask Torvald for a high position at the bank in exchange for not telling Torvald that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad. It would be useless anyway because, as Krogstad says, he will still stain her reputation, will become more powerful than Torvald, and will always have a hold on Nora. 

Christine Linde helps Nora by basically entering back into Nils Krogstad's life and reclaiming him as her potential husband since they were lovers in the past. This happens in Act 3, when we discover that there was a sordid past between the two, where she had to give him up by writing a letter telling him that she no longer loved him. She could read Krogstad well enough to know that he needed her a lot, as she also needed him at this point. It would have had the collateral effect of helping Nora.

Nils, how would it be if we two shipwrecked people could join forces? […] Two on the same piece of wreckage would stand a better chance than each on their own.

The importance of the Tarantella is that it is a dance originally thought to be a cure for spider bites, or better yet, for the bites of tarantulas. An old Italian tradition, the harder you dance the Tarantella, the quicker the poison will leave the body. Nora danced the Tarantella with such eagerness that it represents that she was trying to shed a different type of poison from her body: her secret. The end of the party basically means the end of the farce, the end of the role-playing and lying that came as a result of her need to abide by the societal expectations bestowed upon her as the nurturing crux of the family and as the "angel" of the Victorian household. 

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