A Doll House
Study Question Essay
#2: Nora lies to Helmer in the opening scene about eating macaroons. Trace the theme of lying through the play.
In Ibsen’s A Doll House, Nora and Torvald encounter common problems that many couples have experienced in past and present relationships. Of those problems is the act of deception, a major theme portrayed in the novel. Throughout the novel there is constant deception caused from pre-existing issues which are also major themes in the novel. From the beginning, Nora lies to Torvald about the simplest of things, like about eating the macaroons. This chain of cause-and-effect could be traced back to themes such as lying to protect an image, marrying for money and the role of women during that period. During the period this play was written, in Italy of 1879. The role of women then differed greatly to the role of women today. Women were not treated as equals with men, either in relation to their husbands or society, as is clear from Torvald's horror of his employees thinking he has been influenced in a decision about Krogstad's job by his wife. The husband was expected to have full control of their wives because they were considered superior to them. What defined a man’s place in society was the ability to make and control money and finically, physically and mentally control his family. These expectations are what caused a great deal of deception throughout the play. Nora had lied to Torvald about the macaroons because she wanted him to feel in control. If Nora told Torvald the truth, that she indeed had eating the macaroons, Torvald would of taken it as disrespectful and disobedient. This incident reflects another incident, when Nora takes a loan out from the bank, forges the signature on the paperwork, and keeps it a secret from Torvald. Nora’s intentions were to use the loan to help Torvald to pay medical treatments, but kept it a secret so she wouldn’t dishonor...