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Henrik Ibsen’s Symbolism In A Doll House

971 words - 4 pages

A Doll House was written in 1879 by playwright Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen is known as the creator of modern realistic style drama. The play tells the story of a nineteenth century woman who breaks the chains of society that decide her role in life so that she can find herself. The woman, Nora, lives a relaxed and seemingly untroubled life until her husband Torvald Helmer becomes sick. She then must forge her father’s name on a contract that would allow her to borrow enough money from a lawyer named Nils Krogstad to travel to Italy to save his life. When Torvald finds out what Nora did he becomes furious instead of appreciative for his wife. Nora begins to realize her husband does not truly love ...view middle of the document...

The symbolic meaning behind the Christmas tree is that it is similar to Nora’s personality. Throughout the play secrecy is noticeably the biggest issue between each of the characters. Henrik Ibsen decides to use the locked mailbox to exemplify secrecy and control. The letters convey the secrets that are wished to be kept hidden, and symbolize the reality of the characters’ actions (Visual Metaphors and Performance).
The Helmer’s marriage begins to suffer in Act II because of Torvald’s inability to treat Nora as his equal. Instead of seeing Nora as his companion, he sees her as his prize and possession. When Torvald calls Nora by pet names such as bird or squirrel this validates his possession over her. He treats her almost as if she is a child, which Ibsen represents with the macaroons that Torvald banned her from eating. Nora claims that she never defies Torvald’s rule against eating the macaroons. As the play begins we learn that Nora is dishonest because she sits in the living room eating them. The macaroons represent Nora’s disobedience, deceit, and also foreshadow her revolt. While Nora is sitting with Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde she asks Dr. Rank “What do you say to a macaroon? (Ibsen)”. Dr. Rank confusedly says that he thought eating macaroons was forbidden. Nora decides to lie and claims that Christine Linde gave them to her. Mrs. Linde is stunned by Nora’s lie, and begins to try and clear her name. Nora cuts Mrs. Linde off and says, “Oh, well, don't be alarmed! You couldn't know that Torvald had forbidden them. I must tell you that he is afraid they will spoil my teeth. But, bah!--once in a way--That's so, isn't it, Doctor Rank? By your leave! You...

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