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I think Nora is simply a very sheltered woman who matures by the end of the novel. Nora has never lived alone, going immediately from the care of her father to that of her husband. Inexperienced in the ways of the world as a result of this sheltering, Nora is impulsive and materialistic. But the play questions the extent to which these attributes are mere masks that Nora uses to negotiate the patriarchal oppression she faces every day. The audience learns in the first act that Nora is independent enough to negotiate the loan to make Krogstad's holiday possible, and over the course of the play, Nora emerges as a fully independent woman who rejects both the false union of her marriage and the burden of motherhood.