Symbolism In A Doll's House Essay

827 words - 3 pages

Symbolism in A Doll's HouseSymbols are used universally to arouse interest to something prosaic and to stimulate the mind. Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House is fraught with symbols that represent abstract ideas and concepts. These symbols successfully illustrate the inner conflicts that are going on between the characters. A few of the symbols are the macaroons, the Tarantella dance, and the Christmas tree. Nora lies about the macaroons twice, the first time to Torvald and the second time to Dr. Rank. Nora resorts to lying about eating the macaroons because she feels she is at fault for disobeying. The macaroons denote Nora's dishonesty, which also alludes to her act of committing objectionable, underhanded deeds. The Tarantella is symbolic because it shows that Nora is trying to rid herself of the poison just as the dance's original meaning is to try to expel the poison from the bite of a tarantula. The Christmas tree is another image in the play, which corresponds to Nora. Just as the Christmas tree is employed as a decorative, aesthetic object, Nora serves the same purpose as a doll living in her dollhouse solely for aesthetic purposesNora's fetish for macaroons is one example of a very suggestive symbol. When Torvald approaches Nora and questions Nora in a childlike manner if she has disobeyed him eating macaroons he say, "(wagging his finger at her) Hasn't Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town to-day?" (6) Nora hides the truth and reassures him that she has not. Torvald appears to be teasing her, but the mere truth that for such an insignificant matter Nora has to lie, indicates that there is conflict in their relationship. The second time that Nora lies about the macaroons is when she offers them to Dr. Rank. He asks her, "What, macaroons? I thought they were forbidden here."(17), and Nora answers with a lie by responding "Yes, but these are some Christine gave me."(17). All these deceptions in their marriage are the sources of trouble between the seemingly happy couple. Eating the macaroons appears to be an unimportant issue, but for Nora it is imperative that Torvald does not find out she has been eating them. The macaroons therefore symbolize also how crucial is that Torvald does not discover any information about the forged documents and the loan that she has made from Krogstad to save Torvald's life.The tarantella is...

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