A Doll's House Unmasked
Uploaded by carligi on Dec 05, 2003
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House opens with a playful atmosphere between Torvald and his wife Nora. They seem as a happy couple with nothing to hide from each other. As the play continues to develop, this idea of cheerfulness becomes a misconception. Torvald manipulates Nora and treats her like a doll. Nora seems to enjoy this relationship, but when the reader learns about her true feelings and her past actions, we can observe that her true desire is to be free from her husband’s manipulation. The apparent joy and good-humored environment present at the Torvald’s household is just a way to hide the secrets and differences between the couple.
In A Doll’s House, when Nora lies about eating macaroons, it can be considered as an example of an ostensibly humorous episode emphasized by a much more serious purpose. It is funny how Torvald asks Nora in a childish manner if she has gone against his will by eating macaroons: “(wagging his finger at her) Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been braking rules in town today?” Nora hides the truth by answering that she has not had any macaroons that day. Torvald seems to be joking around with her, but the fact that for such a trivial subject Nora has to lie, denotes the tension in their relationship.
Nora lies about the macaroons twice, first to Torvald and then to Dr. Rank. Rank and Mrs. Linde appear to be involved in a deep conversation about society when Nora breaks up into laughter at the thought of Torvald’s power at the bank. “What do I care about tiresome society?” replies Nora. She suddenly takes out a bag from her pocket and offers Rank some macaroons. She then lies, saying that Mrs. Linde had given her the macaroons, and makes both Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde eat some.
Nora feels the need to lie about eating the macaroons because she feels guilty. The macaroons symbolize Nora’s deceptions, which reach the point of committing forbidden acts. These deceptions are the roots of the problems between the apparent happy couple. Nora fakes her attitude towards her husband in order hide all their faults. Eating the macaroons appears to be an inconsequential action with no importance, but for Nora it is important that Torvald does not find out she has been eating them. It is also extremely important for her that Torvald does not find out the...