A Doll's House

When they return from the masquerade, what does Helmer say to Nora about wishing some danger would come to her? How does he behave when he realizes danger has come to her? How is his behavior ironic?

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Torvald embraces Nora, telling her how much he cares for her. He wishes that he could somehow save her from some great danger so that he could risk everything for her sake. Nora disengages herself from his embrace. She tells him with resolution that he must now read his letters; she no longer is delaying the inevitable but is avoiding his advances. Torvald agrees that something ugly has come between them—he believes it is because of the news of Dr. Rank—and that it would be best to spend the night apart.

Alone, Nora prepares to rush off to commit suicide by jumping into the icy depths of the river, throwing on Torvald’s coat and her shawl. As she bids adieu to her family and rushes out the door, Torvald hurries out of his room and stops her, letter in hand. Torvald asks her if she knows what is in the letter, but Nora still tries to leave. He stops her, locking the door. He continues to wonder out loud how the letter’s allegations could be true. He dismisses her pleas that all was done out of love. He protests that he will not suffer at her hands. This is ironic considering he just finished tellinng her he'd like to risk his life for her.