Let's look into the first activities that Nora is conducting when the play opens. She is out shopping, getting a Christmas tree, eating macaroons behind her husband's back, playing with her children, and responding to her husband's terms of endearment, which include "little squirrel," and a "lark." He warmly scolds...
Let's look into the first activities that Nora is conducting when the play opens. She is out shopping, getting a Christmas tree, eating macaroons behind her husband's back, playing with her children, and responding to her husband's terms of endearment, which include "little squirrel," and a "lark." He warmly scolds her for eating sweets, criticizes her spending habits, and basically demonstrates with his behavior that he is the proverbial "head of the woman," a paradigm that Victorians lived by.
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.(1:Corinthians 11:3)
Judging by the way Nora responds to these dynamics, we can safely assume that she is content with her position; that she was groomed to be her husband's wife and her children's mother.
Towards the middle of the play, Nora's behavior does not change, but her mindset begins to show signs of self-doubt and doubts about her husband. She talks about a "miracle" that would happen and make everything go away. This "miracle" she refers to is the scenario that she hopes to see if her husband ever finds out about the deal with Krogstad. In this scenario, Torvald would understand Nora's sacrifice, appreciate her for it, and then take the blame for her to protect her honor. Nora was torn, because part of her believed this would be possible, and another part of her knew it wouldn't happen.
Helmer [walking about the room]. What a horrible awakening! All these eight years--she who was my joy and pride--a hypocrite, a liar--worse, worse--a criminal! The unutterable ugliness of it all!--For shame! [...]No religion, no morality, no sense of duty-[...]and this is how you repay me.
Nora's "miracle" does not occur. As such, Nora is left disillusioned, frustrated and, to a point, devastated. Who is this man she married? How can the man for whom she has sacrificed so much call her such awful names, and make the horrible suggestions he makes? She has finally seen his true colors, and this is when she realizes that all her life has been a farce. She has lived like the plaything of a very shallow man. Knowing all of this was enough to make Nora decide on the spot that it is time for her to go. She realizes that she has never been happy and she goes away, leaving her husband and children behind.