In A Doll's House, how is the tarantella dance reflective of Nora’s situation?

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The tarantella is actually a dance associated with tarantism, a disease caused by the bite of a spider native to Italy; the dance was meant to distribute the poison around the body, diluting it, so as not to be too concentrated in one part. It was, in essence, a treatment...

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The tarantella is actually a dance associated with tarantism, a disease caused by the bite of a spider native to Italy; the dance was meant to distribute the poison around the body, diluting it, so as not to be too concentrated in one part. It was, in essence, a treatment to help the afflicted physically cure themselves of the spider's poison. It is notable that this is the dance Helmer has chosen for Nora to perform, given his statements about how women, mothers especially, can poison their homes and children with their immorality. At the end of act 1, Torvald says that immoral or deceitful mothers "poison" their whole home with an "atmosphere of lies." These statements cause Nora to fear that her deception has or will "Deprave" her children and "Poison" her home, and she begins to keep some distance from the children in the very next act. Torvald, of course, has no idea at this stage that Nora has been doing anything she ought not other than eating cookies when he's not looking (as he has forbidden her to eat sweets). It is ironic, therefore, that he should choose this dance because he has no idea that his own wife, according to his general statements, has such moral poison within her.

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