Ask them to identify especially dramatic or curious

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Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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Chapter 2 / Exercise 3
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
Newman/Newman
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Ask them to identify especially dramatic or curious moments. What effects do these changes have on the audience? This exercise provides an excellent opportunity for close reading. Students can report their results to the class, even acting out a part of the scene. 5. Symbols. Christmas tree : could be identified with Nora; the tree sets the time of year, a time of happiness and birth, a birth of a new Nora occurs at the end of the play. Like the tree also, Nora is little more than a decoration in her own home. Macaroons : signifies a small rebellion that foreshadows her larger rebellion at play’s end. Eating the macaroons and lying about them give her a sense of power over Torvald; the macaroons are a small representation of her larger “secret.” Note the following lines from Nora: “It’s perfectly glorious to think that we have – that Torvald has so much power over so many people. … Dr. Rank, what do you say to a macaroon?” (678). Mending/knitting : Mrs. Linde does the mending of Nora’s costume, but more significantly she mends Nora’s life by allowing the truth about the loan to surface. She also mends Krogstad’s life when she declares her love for him. Black Crosses : Rank uses two crosses to announce his death. One symbolizes the death of an old Nora. The cross might also tie in with the theme of human liberation, as individuals all bear cultural, societal, and parental influences or crosses that sometimes need to be lifted before liberation into individuality. 73
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Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
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Chapter 2 / Exercise 3
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
Newman/Newman
Expert Verified
Tarantella : a frantic dance, which Nora dances “as if [her] life depended on it” (896-897). It is a parting gift for her husband, for whom she plans on committing suicide, rather than let him assume the blame for her criminal act. With its ferocious energy, Nora’s tarantella reflects her agitated state of mind. Play students a recording of the music and they will have a clearer understanding of not just the dance but Nora’s frame of mind. 6. Human rights/ women rights. Ibsen has remarked that the A Doll’s House is more about human rights than women’s rights. He believes that every person should have the right to find his/her direction and purpose in life without the pressures imposed on society to conform to certain roles. Society expects Nora to be a wife, to provide a comfortable home for her family and to be submissive to her husband, while expecting Torvald to be domineering at home and aggressive at work. Society’s expectations and conventions stifle individuality. Nora is preparing her children to conform, indicated by her choice of Christmas gifts for them: a sword and clothes for one son, a horse and trumpet for the other son, and a doll and doll’s bed for her daughter. Ibsen once wrote, “I think that all of us have nothing other or better to do than in spirit and sincerity to realize ourselves. That, to my mind, is the real liberation.” 7. Alternative ending.

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