A Doll's House Essay

1312 Words Oct 17th, 2012 6 Pages
A Dolls House:

2. How does the imagery in the play aid the audience to appreciate the themes, the dramatic question(s), of the play?

A Doll's House is a play written in 1879 by Henrik Ibsen depicting the story of a couple Nora and Torvald Helmer. The play specifically follows the journey of the character Nora's self-discovery and struggle against the oppression of her husband Torvald and the society that he represents. Ibsen uses non-verbal elements such as screen directions and setting descriptions to symbolize aspects of characters and their relationships to each other and the larger themes. The imagery of the stove and the furniture, the lighting and the doorway, the costume and the doll all aid the audience to appreciate the
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Whenever Nora moves towards the stove in the play she moves back to her place as a wife, searching for the love Helmer does not provide.
Apart from the stove, the Christmas tree is another significant decoration symbolizing more than a normal tree. The Christmas tree is a sign of a welcoming and congenial home, a place of happiness. It is a festive object serving as a decoration symbolizing Nora’s position in her household as a doll who is merely there for her looks and entertainment. For example, a parallel can be drawn between Nora and the Christmas tree in the instance when the maid is told to prevent the children from seeing the tree and Nora forbids Torvald from seeing her dress until the evening event: “Hide the Christmas tree properly, Helena”; “No one’s allowed to admire me in all my finery till tomorrow” (147)(202). In both cases, Nora or the Christmas tree is being concealed; they cannot be revealed until the proper moment when they are fully prepared and decorated. The tree is like Nora’s shadow. It completely mirrors her actions, when she is distressed and muddled at the beginning of the second act, the trees is correspondingly “disheveled.” The Christmas tree reinforces the theme of importance of appearances; while Nora and the tree are being concealed the children and Torvald cannot see them for what or who they truly are.
Light. “The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible”[1] is used to heighten a

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