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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tone of Ibsen's A Doll's House mimics the content and theme of the play--on the surface of the plot, there appears to be a light-hearted, carefree atmosphere, but the reader (or viewer) is acutely aware that there is something much darker and heavier lurking beneath.  For example, Nora has a close relationship with Dr. Rank that on the surface appears to be one that is cordial given the relationship that Dr. Rank has with Nora's husband Torvald.  When Dr. Rank and Nora are together, they are superficially playful around one another.  However, later in the play, Dr. Rank reveals his love for Nora, and the reader gets the sense that Nora also feels the same for Dr. Rank because he is the one who listens to her and treats her like a "real" person.  But these intense feelings must be masked to preserve the artificial happiness of the Helmers' home and lifestyle.  So the tone of the play is on the surface light-hearted, but this masks the intensity that lurks beneath.