Like the macaroons, the tarantella symbolizes a side of Nora that she cannot normally show. It is a fiery, passionate dance that allows Nora to drop the façade of the perfect mild-mannered Victorian wife. Throughout the play, Nora uses performance to please Torvald, and the tarantella is no exception; he admits that watching her perform it makes her desire her. However, this is only under very controlled circumstances, and Torvald seems to enjoy the fact that it is a performance that impresses other people more than anything.
The Tarantella Quotes in A Doll's House
The A Doll's House quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Tarantella. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of A Doll's House published in 1998.).
Act Two Quotes
Now Dr. Rank, cheer up. You’ll see tomorrow how nicely I can dance. And you can pretend I’m doing it just for you—and for Torvald as well, of course.
Tell me what to do, keep me right—as you always do.
The Tarantella Symbol Timeline in A Doll's House
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Tarantella appears in A Doll's House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...the dining room, leaving Nora a moment alone. Nora counts out the hours until the tarantella and until midnight the next evening, eventually pronouncing: “Thirty-one hours to live.” Torvald calls from... (full context)
...sorry he didn’t let her stay longer. Torvald recalls the evening, saying Nora danced the tarantella well and was wildly applauded, although the dance was perhaps too realistic. He explains that... (full context)