A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen Symbolisation through props

Essay by DoctorDazzaHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2009

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Henrik Ibsen's in one of his most revolutionary plays, A Doll's House, filled his set and narrative with symbols that emphasised the idea that above everything, one must be an individual. Doors, macaroons and the tarantella are all symbols that are used by Ibsen to convey to the audience that the life of Nora and Torvald isn't what it seems to the naked eye. The doors in the 'doll's house' set, are emphasised, to symbolise the separate 'world's ' Nora and Torvald live in; the illusive macaroons symbolise the control Torvald has over his wife and the wild tarantella dance is symbolic of Nora's desire to escape from her restricted and heavily defined existence.

Doors in A Doll's House are not just a wooden blocks that can be used as a thoroughfare between rooms; they are used to distinguish between the two different spheres, Nora's sphere and Torvald's sphere.

All throughout the play, Nora never enters her husband's 'world'. Guests for Torvald were instructed to 'not come in here (Nora's living room)', and they went on into Torvald's study. As Krogstad 'slammed' the door on the way out of his house, Nora's world was smashed into a million shards of tiny fragile pieces. The character of Nora is sent into a spiral of depression, anxiety and out-right craziness that turned a seemingly normal dance into a 19th century movement of oppressed emotions.

The macaroons that Nora possesses in the beginning of the play are more than just a common snack. Nora has the macaroons in the early stages of the play, with Torvald around. They give the audience the knowledge of Nora's child-like behaviour and emotions. All through 'A Doll's House', Torvald treats Nora like an 'inexperienced child', and the macaroons are one of many indications of this. She...