In A Doll's House, why does Nora say that she would like to tear her costume in a million pieces?

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slcollins eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Nora says she’d like to tear her costume up in a million pieces, I think we can come up with two distinct interpretations. One interpretation could lead us to see that she is tired of “playing dress up” in her marriage to Torvald. She has been keeping secrets from him for many years, namely about the loan she secured under suspect conditions, and she is finally ready to stop hiding things from Torvald and acting in a role. Another interpretation could be a bit more global or universal: Ibsen certainly commented on the treatment of women in the late 1800’s, and this shredding of Nora’s costume could represent breaking the restrictions that society placed on women .