A Doll's House | Study Guide

Henrik Ibsen

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Course Hero. "A Doll's House Study Guide." August 17, 2016. Accessed May 23, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Dolls-House/.


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Act 2, Section 3

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Act 2, Section 3 of Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House.

A Doll's House | Act 2, Section 3 | Summary



Nora distracts Torvald from reading Krogstad's letter by having him help her rehearse the tarantella for tomorrow night's dance. Seeing that Nora is agitated, Christine offers to visit Krogstad to try to convince him to take the letter back unread, but Krogstad is not at home when she visits.


Nora's wild rendition of the tarantella reflects her mad focus on trying to keep Torvald from the letter. It also represents her evolving independence, as she refuses to obey Torvald's various commands to slow down and dance the way he has taught her.

At the same time, Nora reveals her belief that "A wonderful thing is going to happen," a thing that makes her ecstatic as shown by her dancing. What is this wonderful thing? Is it that she is willing to dance unabashedly and embrace with all of her being the role Torvald demands she play? She does say to him, "Torvald, dear, criticize me and correct me." Or is it her belief that she is somehow becoming more free, an idea she postulates to Torvald when she tells him he will be free from needing to attend only to her, after the dance?

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