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A DOLLS HOUSE ACT TWO Christmas Eve has turned into Christmas Day After the presents and excitement the symbolic tree has been stripped and the candles are burned out For everyone else the waiting is over but for Nora its just beginning In the first act Torvald called her a squirrel and a bird now she paces like an animal thats newly aware of its cage Shes trying to convince herself that Krogstad wont carry out his threat but nevertheless she checks the mailbox and listens fearfully for visitors Anne-Marie the nursemaid enters The short dialogue that follows between Nora and Anne-Marie serves three important functions 1 It tells us that Anne-Marie was Noras own nursemaid This underscores the fact that Nora went straight from her fathers nursery to Torvalds home without having to grow up 2 It reveals that Anne-Marie had to give up her own illegitimate daughter to nurse Nora Nora knows that she might be in a parallel situation forced to give up her children for their own good 3 It establishes that Anne-Marie will be there to mother the children even if Nora isnt NOTE In the conversation between Nora and Anne-Marie you can see how Ibsen loads his dialogue with additional meanings For example Nora responds not only to what Anne-Marie says but to what she might be implying about Noras current predicament Where else in the play have you seen characters in the same discussion talking about two completely different things How could this be related to the pattern of secrets When Kristine Linde arrives Nora begins to discuss with her Dr Rank and his inherited illness Nora suggests that his fatal illness possibly syphilis is the result of his fathers sexual escapades Again Ibsen connects two generations with a moral taint Later on the old doctor expresses the idea that sometimes one family member must suffer for the sins of another NOTE Ibsen wrote his plays before Sigmund
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