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Meter in A Doll's House

Meter Examples in A Doll's House:

Act III

🔒 3

"Torvald, this is a settling of accounts...."   (Act III)

Nora has taken off her costume and now approaches Torvald, arguably as an adult for the first time. In financial terms, a “settling of accounts” is the payment of a debt owed, typically with the intention of closing the account permanently. Idiomatically, it means to put an end to an argument or seek revenge for misdeeds. By using financial terminology, Nora asserts her intelligence and her desire to speak to Torvald as an equal. Idiomatically and figuratively, Nora is saying that she is going to close her account with, or leave her relationship with, Torvald.

"[quickly and searchingly]. Certainty? ..."   (Act III)

Recall Nora’s conversation with Doctor Rank in act II, in which he confided in her that he was dying and that he would only perform one more examination on himself. In this conversation, Nora and Doctor Rank confirm that he is dying and say their goodbyes using coded metaphors. Nora asking about the “scientific investigation” is her inquiring after the doctor’s health while still upholding his wishes that Torvald not know. The “certainty” they refer to is Doctor Rank’s impending death. Just as Nora ordered champagne and macaroons for her final meal, Doctor Rank’s high spirits at the party were an attempt to enjoy his last night before locking himself away to die.

"Well, I am like a shipwrecked woman clinging to some wreckage—no one to mourn for, no one to care for...."   (Act III)

The parallels between Mrs. Linde and Krogstad are made explicit in this line, as Mrs. Linde reminds Krogstad that she is also a widow from an unhappy marriage. She did not leave him out of heartlessness or greed, but rather practicality and obligation. They are both people who have made sacrifices for their families and are now left “shipwrecked.” Krogstad’s reputation is in shambles due to his shady dealings and Mrs. Linde feels unfulfilled and listless without anyone to care for. She extends Krogstad’s metaphor and suggests that since they are both shipwrecked, they ought to combine their wreckages and help keep each other afloat.

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