A Doll's House

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Macaroons Symbol Icon
Torvald has banned Nora from eating macaroons. Although Nora claims that she never disobeys Torvald, this is proved false in the very opening of the play when Nora eats macaroons while she was alone in the living room. The macaroons come to represent Nora’s disobedience and deceit. She lies to Dr. Rank about having been given some by Mrs. Linde, and after giving a particularly tempestuous performance of the tarantella asks that macaroons be served at dinner, indicating a relationship between the macaroons and Nora’s inner passions, both of which she must hide within her marriage.

Macaroons Quotes in A Doll's House

The A Doll's House quotes below all refer to the symbol of Macaroons. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Oxford University Press edition of A Doll's House published in 1998.
Act One Quotes

I would never dream of doing anything you didn’t want me to.

Related Characters: Nora Helmer (speaker), Torvald Helmer
Related Symbols: Macaroons
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Nora plays the part of the perfect wife, promising absolute obedience to Torvald—in this case specifically related to the fact that he has forbidden her to eat macaroons. On one level this quote seems to convey Nora's love for her husband and her acceptance of gender roles, suggesting she adores Torvald so much that she is willing to give up her own agency in order to make him happy. However, in reality she is lying. She has already disobeyed him, both in the minor act of eating macaroons just a few minutes earlier, and in the major transgression of borrowing money much earlier in their marriage.

Nora has thus deceived Torvald on two levels: first by disobeying him, and then by lying about it. The exaggerated nature of the phrase – that she would "never dream" of disobeying him – adds further tension to the lie and suggests that the role Nora is trying to play is unrealistic and impossible, and therefore hints at her eventual refusal to play it.


Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Doll's House quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire A Doll's House LitChart as a printable PDF.
A doll s house.pdf.medium

Macaroons Symbol Timeline in A Doll's House

The timeline below shows where the symbol Macaroons appears in A Doll's House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Deceit Theme Icon
Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Nora offers Dr. Rank a macaroon. He says he thought they were forbidden in Nora’s house. Nora lies that Mrs. Linde... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Money and Work Theme Icon
Torvald enters and Nora quickly hides the macaroons. Nora asks if Torvald “got rid of” Krogstad, and Torvald replies that yes, Krogstad has... (full context)
Act Two
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Deceit Theme Icon
...dinner is ready. Nora tells her that they’ll have champagne and asks for lots of macaroons. Torvald takes Nora’s hands and tells her not to be so wild and to be... (full context)