In Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," the characters Nora and Torvald are misleading in their nature. Nora initially seems immature and childlike, but as the play develops her independence and strong will become more prevalent. The strong and generous husband, Torvald, later exposes himself as a truly self-centered, and selfish man. This fallibility of their appearances proves to hide the veracity of the play's characters; and it is when these masks are unveiled that the characters true identities begin to surface. This is one reason their marriage was doomed from the second it started.
In the beginning of A Doll's House, Nora appears to be perfectly content with her life. She enjoys spending time with her children and friends, as well as the affectionate, yet patronizing teasing of her husband Torvald. "I lived by doing tricks for you, Torvald. But that's the way you wanted it. It's a great sin what you and Papa did to me. You"re to blame that nothing's become of me." As evident in this quote, Nora pretends to be someone she is not, therefore performing the role that Torvald and her father expected of her. However as the play progresses Nora reveals that she is far more independent than she appears to be. Her secret pursuing of a loan to save Torvald's life demonstrates her understanding of business and therefore shows her intelligence. Also her individuality shines through after many years of labor to payoff the loan illustrates her determination and strong will. Moreover her breaking the law in order to save Torvald exemplifies hidden courage. The vital awakening that breaks Nora's submissive nature came when Torvald responded very inconsiderately upon hearing of Nora's dishonesty to save his life. As Nora's awareness of the truth about her life came to be, it ultimately concludes in her leaving her family to truly discovering her hidden independence. .
Torvald's true appearance is also revealed throughout the play.