One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him.
In this quotation from Act One, Nora describes to Mrs. Linde the circumstances under which she would consider telling Torvald about the secret loan she took in order to save his life. Her claim that she might consider telling him when she gets older and loses her attractiveness is important because it shows that Nora has a sense of the true nature of her marriage, even as early as Act One. She recognizes that Torvald’s affection is based largely on her appearance, and she knows that when her looks fade, it is likely that Torvald’s interest in her will fade as well. Her suggestion that in the future she may need something to hold over Torvald in order to retain his faithfulness and devotion to her reveals that Nora is not as naïve as she pretends to be. She has an insightful, intelligent, and manipulative side that acknowledges, if only in a small way, the troubling reality of her existence.