What do the macaroons symbolize in A Dolls House?

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In Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, the macaroons symbolize Nora's acts of independence and deception. They also represent Torvald's efforts to control Nora and to treat her like a child.

Eating the macaroons is Nora's way of disobeying her domineering husband. This act illuminates the feminine issue in the play. Nora's growth as a person is stultified by her having to hide her little pleasures and by the demands upon her by Torvald to be his "little sweetheart" and his "little songbird"—his "doll." These sobriquets suggest Nora's dependence upon her husband and her helplessness. She is placed in the position of having to ask for money, and she must sew things to make some money.

The act of sneaking the macaroons into the house and eating them reflects the more significant act of deception that Nora has committed. Because Torvald believes that “a home that depends on loans and debt is not beautiful because it is not free,” Nora feels that she must deceive her husband about the loan...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 552 words.)

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