Symbolism of a Doll's House

2840 WordsMay 19, 201512 Pages
Alex Simonton Research Paper Third Period April 15, 2015 Symbolism of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is perhaps one of the most hotly debated plays to come out of the 19th century. The eighteen hundreds continued the process of the demystification that began with the Enlightenment. Because of the discoveries of the Enlightenment, humans could no longer be sure about their place in the universe. This, of course, had an impact on the theater. The movement toward realism, which, like the 19th century in general, was an attempt to become more scientific. Ibsen is considered by many as the father of realism, and one of the plays that belong to Ibsen 's realism period is A Doll’s House. But the play…show more content…
The symbolic nature of the title is drawn out over the course of the play. The play forces the reader, or viewer, to look beneath the surface of what appears to be a perfect Victorian household. Ibsen, through the use of realistic stage setting, can show a typical Victorian household and marriage fall to pieces: "He means to make a modern home go to pieces before our very eyes, from necessity within itself. It must contain everything that can attract: Simplicity, gladness, power of work, good temper, gentle and strong regard, love of beauty, merry little children, friends, well-managed servants, good habits, good reputation, a position which has at length been won by praiseworthy endeavors, etc.; but also a husband who has such an essentially false idea of happiness between man and woman, that it has practically undermined this delightful home, and it is ready to fall in, at any moment" (Lord 96). The picture of the perfect household that is contained in the setting is symbolic for both Nora and Torvald. It is symbolic for Nora because it is her job to keep the surface of their lives clean and tidy. But is also symbolic of her attempt to hide the secrets she has inside. By the play 's end Nora will emerge as the person she really is, a person stripped of the mask of the perfect Victorian household: "At last, in an extraordinary scene, she declares that she can no longer live in her doll 's house; husband and wife sit down
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