After reading the first letter, Torvald solidifies his core feelings toward his wife. He immediately explodes into angry outbursts toward her. Consider the following lines Torvald hurls at Nora:
You stay right here and give me a reckoning.
In all these eight years—she who was my pride and joy—a hypocrite, a liar—worse, worse—a criminal! How infinitely disgusting it all is!
Now you're wrecked all my happiness—ruined my whole future.
You can't be allowed to bring up the children; I don't dare trust you with them.
When Torvald's image of Nora suddenly doesn't fit with the reality of the woman who stands before him, he tries to actively oppress her spirit. He is cruel, vindictive, and filled with hate. He tries to strip her of her dignity and of her children. Torvald's reflex instinct is to hurt Nora when she finds herself in a bind and to only think of how her actions will impact him. He proves himself incredibly selfish.
Torvald's tone quickly shifts when he reads the second letter, but...
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