In A Doll's House, why does Torvald refers to Nora as "skylark" and "squirrel"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Torvald has various nicknames for Nora, many of which begin with the word “my.” As the head of the house, he has assumed complete control over not only the household but everything and everyone in it. In calling her “my sweet little skylark” and “my little squirrel,” Torvald is implying his ownership over Nora as well as her lack of maturity.

Torvald’s teasing Nora about eating sweets is actually a way of keeping her from going against his wishes. He wags a finger at her and asks if “Miss Sweet Tooth” has broken the rule and eaten sweets in town. Seeing Nora begin to get defensive, he backs down and claims he is only teasing. However, his condescending attitude is not a joke; it is a means of control. She feels compelled to sneak sweets behind his back because she does not want to upset him. She is more his child than his wife.

Torvald treats Nora as a child with no sense. He does not have a high opinion of her ability to think and in fact calls her a “little...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 810 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 31, 2020