In act 1 of A Doll's House, Describe Nora and Helmer's marriage. Can their relationship be considered a good foundation for a marriage? Why or why not? In a 200-word response, answer the following question using in-text MLA citations.

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At the opening of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Torvald and Nora Helmer have a scene together that clearly defines their marriage.

Torvald belittles Nora and unceasingly patronizes her. Torvald calls Nora "my little lark," "my little squirrel," "my little spendthrift," "my little featherhead," "my little skylark," an...

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At the opening of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Torvald and Nora Helmer have a scene together that clearly defines their marriage.

Torvald belittles Nora and unceasingly patronizes her. Torvald calls Nora "my little lark," "my little squirrel," "my little spendthrift," "my little featherhead," "my little skylark," an "extravagant little person," "an odd little soul," "Miss Sweet-Tooth," "poor little girl," and "precious little singing-bird."

Torvald says that Nora thinks "like a woman."

For her part, Nora is tolerant and even accepting of Torvald's benevolent deprecation and loving misogyny. Nora tells Mrs. Linde, "The last eight years have been a happy time for me, I can tell you."

Nevertheless, Nora has secrets. She buys macaroons behind Torvald's back, then denies to his face that she's done so.

She acquired a loan without Torvald's knowledge and consent so they could pay for Torvald's convalescence from illness and overwork. Nora knows quite well how Torvald feels about loans.

No debt, no borrowing. There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt.

Nora manipulates Torvald into giving her money for household expenses, some of which she uses to pay back the loan. Torvald thinks that Nora's father gave the money to them as a gift.

Nora has another secret about the loan that Krogstad threatens to expose—namely that Nora forged her father's signature on the loan papers. Nora knows that Torvald would be devastated if he knew that Nora acquired a loan for his convalescence.

[H]ow painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it is now.

Nora also knows that Torvald would be even more devastated and distressed if he knew that Nora acquired the loan illegally.

By the end of act 1, Nora's deceptions are adding up, and they threaten to undermine the all-too-insubstantial foundation of Nora and Torvald's marriage.

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