1. One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him.
In this quotation from Act One, Nora describes to Mrs. Linde the circumstances under which she would consider telling Torvald about the secret loan she took in order to save his life. Her claim that she might consider telling him when she gets older and loses her attractiveness is important because it shows that Nora has a sense of the true nature of her marriage, even as early as Act One. She recognizes that Torvald’s affection is based largely on her appearance, and she knows that when her looks fade, it is likely that Torvald’s interest in her will fade as well. Her suggestion that in the future she may need something to hold over Torvald in order to retain his faithfulness and devotion to her reveals that Nora is not as naïve as she pretends to be. She has an insightful, intelligent, and manipulative side that acknowledges, if only in a small way, the troubling reality of her existence.
In this quotation from her conversation with Mrs. Linde in Act One, Nora claims that she will be “free” after the New Year—after she has paid off her debt to Krogstad. While describing her anticipated freedom, Nora highlights the very factors that constrain her. She claims that freedom will give her time to be a mother and a traditional wife who maintains a beautiful home, as her husband likes it. But the message of the play is that Nora cannot find true freedom in this traditional domestic realm. As the play continues, Nora becomes increasingly aware that she must change her life to find true freedom, and her understanding of the word “free” evolves accordingly. By the end of the play, she sees that freedom entails independence from societal constraints and the ability to explore her own personality, goals, and beliefs.
Nora speaks these prophetic-sounding words to Mrs. Linde toward the end of Act Two as she tells her about what will happen when Torvald reads Krogstad’s letter detailing Nora’s secret loan and forgery. The meaning of Nora’s statement remains obscure until Act Three, when Nora reveals the nature of the “glorious” happening that she anticipates. She believes that when Torvald learns of the forgery and Krogstad’s blackmail, Torvald will take all the blame on himself and gloriously sacrifice his reputation in order to protect her. When Torvald eventually indicates that he will not shoulder the blame for Nora, Nora’s faith in him is shattered. Once the illusion of Torvald’s nobility is crushed, Nora’s other illusions about her married life are crushed as well, and her disappointment with Torvald triggers her awakening.
Torvald speaks these words in Act Three after learning of Nora’s forgery and Krogstad’s ability to expose her. Torvald’s conversations with Nora have already made it clear that he is primarily attracted to Nora for her beauty and that he takes personal pride in the good looks of his wife. He has also shown himself to be obsessed with appearing dignified and respectable to his colleagues. Torvald’s reaction to Krogstad’s letter solidifies his characterization as a shallow man concerned first and foremost with appearances. Here, he states explicitly that the appearance of happiness is far more important to him than happiness itself.
These words are important also because they constitute Torvald’s actual reaction to Nora’s crime, in contrast to the gallant reaction that she expects. Rather than sacrifice his own reputation for Nora’s, Torvald seeks to ensure that his reputation remains unsullied. His desire to hide—rather than to take responsibility—for Nora’s forgery proves Torvald to be the opposite of the strong, noble man that he purports himself to be before Nora and society.
Nora speaks these words, which express the truth that she has gleaned about her marriage, Torvald’s character, and her life in general, to Torvald at the end of Act Three. She recognizes that her life has been largely a performance. She has acted the part of the happy, child-like wife for Torvald and, before that, she acted the part of the happy, child-like daughter for her father. She now sees that her father and Torvald compelled her to behave in a certain way and understands it to be “great wrong” that stunted her development as an adult and as a human being. She has made “nothing” of her life because she has existed only to please men. Following this -realization, Nora leaves Torvald in order to make something of her life and—for the first time—to exist as a person independent of other people.
Safe Trick-or-Treat Activities:
Of course, the favorite of many families is to dress in costume and trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. It’s always fun at any time of day, and maybe a little more fun (and scary!) at night, but we all need to follow some safety guidelines so no one gets hurt. Here are a few simple, but effective, suggestions:
* Watch out for cars!
* Wear light colored costumes and carry a flashlight during dusk and after dark.
* Painted faces are better than masks. Masks can block a child’s vision.
* Costumes should be sized right to avoid tripping over hems or “too big” shoes.
* Stick to a pre-planned route – especially important if your goblins are out on their own.
* Bring all goodies home for inspection before sampling!!
After reviewing safety issues with your little ones, visit this website for an online kid-friendly quiz about Halloween safety. Print out a personalized certificate when your child is done.
If you live in a very rural or unpopulated area, you might want to take your costumed kiddies to Tanger Outlet Center to do their trick-or-treating. Children and their parents are invited to check in at Tanger Shopper Services between 10 AM and 8 PM to receive a Tanger Trick or Treat Bag, then visit participating stores for your special treats! Just look for Halloween front door decals at participating stores.
Trick-or-Treating Not Your Thing?
* Collect for others: If you don’t want your children to have too much candy, or you’d like them to think more about others, your family can always collect donations for UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund) instead of bags full of sweets. UNICEF collection boxes are available free at the Toys-R-Us locations on Route 58 or in Tanger. It’s a great way to encourage your children to participate in community service.
* Have a Halloween party to keep your youngsters amused at home. Invite some friends – young and old – to play Halloween games. Classic games like bobbing for apples, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and pass-the-pumpkin (a Halloween version of Hot Potato) are a snap to organize and oh so enjoyable. Make some cupcakes or cookies and let the kids decorate them for a fun activity, then eat them for refreshments along with some fresh cider.
Find Ideas Here: Here are some great Halloween party themed websites:
* Find games and other activities here
* You’ll find hauntingly healthy snacks here
* Make a free animated online video personalized with your family photos here – teens can do this by themselves, but younger kids will need lots of adult help. The results are hilarious!!
How To Wind Down: After a long day of costumed capers, send your sleepyheads to bed with a not-so-spooky story. Here are some suggestions of books you can find at the Riverhead Free Library
* Alpha Oops! H Is For Halloween by Althea Kontis
* Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea
* 13 Ghosts of Halloween by Robin Muller
* Druscilla’s Halloween by Sally M. Walker
* Minerva Louise on Halloween by Janet Morgan