Symbolism In A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen

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‘A Doll’s House’ is a play written by Henrik Ibsen; a Norwegian playwright. It was originally written in Danish although later translated into various other languages one of them being English. The play deals with marriage norms in the 19th century and is a problem play. The play majorly focuses on the subject of decay and deterioration of the institution of marriage that is the central metaphor of the play. The play revolves around this metaphor through the experiences concerning the two major characters of the play – Nora, and her husband Torvald. An extremely important tool helping the author to explore upon this metaphor is the use of symbols. Ibsen has utilized symbolism effectively, for the most part, to depict the central metaphor of decay; the symbols aiding to the process being the Christmas tree, the hiding of the macaroons, Nora’s fancy dress costume and the Tarantella.

The play begins with Nora bringing in the Christmas tree to the Helmer’s house. Christmas is supposed to be a time of festivities, joy, and especially, familial bonding. But in the context of this play, the idea of Christmas is turned completely on its head – it becomes a time of deceit, ill feelings, and a symbol that represents the distancing of the family. Christmas Day becomes anti-climactic in nature – whereas decoration of the Christmas tree is usually a group task, Nora insists upon decorating it by her, after it has been kept hidden from the rest of the household. This hiding of the
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