A Doll's House and the Macaroon

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Gloria Nguyen
Period 5
2010 February 24

A significant symbol in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen are the macaroons that show up several times within the course of the play because it shows that Nora is not truthful to Torvald and that their household is tangled up in a web of deceit. “She slips the bag of macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth...”. Nora knows that Torvald dislikes her spending money on guilty pleasures like macaroons so she tries to hide them, just as she tries to hide the truth of her bond and debts. The macaroons also show that Nora is uncomfortable with all of the rules and regulations Torvald has set up and that she has her own will and mind set. When Torvald asks her if she had any macaroons, she immediately responded with “No, Torvald, really; I promise you.” It shows that she may have a different set of morals than Torvald and that she is not at all comfortable in her living situation and Torvald is not one of her confidants like Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde. The macaroons show that Nora is not the perfect doll that Torvald tried to mold her into. The macaroons function in the text was to show that although that some families and lives seem picture perfect, most of the time it is not true, as proven by Nora’s need to hide the bond and macaroons from Torvald. The macaroons could also represent Nora’s want to be independent and free, that she wants to rebel and be someone of her own making as opposed to being Torvald’s little “songbird”, “squirrel” and “capricious Capri”. Ibsen’s use of symbolism in using such a minor pleasure impacts the story in a huge way by subtly showing the reader that Nora’s lifestyle is not as truthful and happy as it seems and that something as small as an innocent white lie about macaroons can set the precedent of lies that are to come.
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