In A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, what does Nora tell the maid to hide when she enters the house?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, Nora is excited that Christmas is fast approaching and she can prepare the house for her family. The reader is introduced to Nora first, as she asks Ellen, the nanny, to hide the Christmas tree so that the children will not see it until she has decorated it and it is "lighted up." By the end of this play, there will be far more that is "lighted up" and which has been exposed, than a bright and sparkly Christmas tree.

Nora's actions reveal that she is a rather childlike, and even flippant character, very distracted, hiding outside her husband's office in case he hears his "little skylark" munching on macaroons; something he has forbidden her from doing, just as he would to a child, for fear that they are an unhealthy treat. These festivities, Nora filled with "quiet glee," and the Christmas tree mask the issues surrounding this family as they behave as if there are no underlying problems or secrets. Their shallow existence and reliance on outward show (like the Christmas tree) will shortly be revealed and will also show that they are not equipped to deal with anything more than superficial problems, such as where to hide the Christmas tree from the children. Their lives will change forever when they can no longer hide behind their stifling roles.   

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A Doll's House

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