For example the extreme childishness of her language with words like “pooh”, and her childish mannerisms as she “ …tiptoes across and listens at her husband’s door”. She is also lacking in the emotional intelligence which comes with leading a life in society-like when Mrs. Linde enters and Nora proceeds to tell her how the last eight years have “been such a happy time for me”. She disregards the obvious state of Mrs. Linde and tells her, on the other hand, how well she is doing. So t is clear that she has no position in society and cannot even interact properly in society until she has shed all of the “top floor” aspects of her character.
In contrast Torvald is closer to the bottom of the house. He has a realistic view of the future, knows the importance of saving and is very intent on maintaining the reputation he has earned as a banker prefab house
, all of which contribute to his grounded character. On the face of it these seem like good qualities to have in one’s character. However his personality is so rigid and fixed that he lacks the ability to change in any way-causing him to be stuck in this way of life which is so shallow and yet seem completely content with things just as they are. The couple’s positions at the start of the play create a necessity for change and development by the end, as each are too extreme in those positions.
The play is set around the time of Christmas, which would have been a time of relative hardship in Norway because of the harsh winter. People like Mrs Linde, enter the house in their winter clothing and do so as symbols of real life’s struggles, they have been outside in the cold and snow and endured it. These people coming into the house present the opposite of Nora, who rarely leaves the house and is not aware of what it is to have hardship. She needs to change, just like the Christmas tree, which goes through a process reflective of Nora’s experience.
The tree is an object of charm and pleasure, and its only real purpose is as something to look at. This is parallel to Nora’s role in the house, as someone that is, to Torvald at least, merely pleasurable movable house
. Also at the start of act 2 the tree is described as “stripped and disheveled, its candles burned to their sockets.” At this time in the play Nora is being blackmailed by Krogstad and at the same time keeping her secret from Torvald, so has undergone personal hardship which undoubtedly she has never experienced before. Therefore this vulnerability of character is reflected in the vulnerability of the Christmas tree, which has so quickly changed from something of beauty to somethingugly and disfigured.