Themes and Symbols in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

Themes and Symbols in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

Length: 1297 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“I’ve been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’a doll-child” (Ibsen 1491). Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House tells a story of scandal and deceit set in the Victorian era. Nora Helmer is married to Torvald Helmer and she feels more like his toy than his wife. Nora had to have Torvald to be able to do anything, because of when she lived. Nora borrows money behind her husband’s back (which is illegal at this time) and tries to cover up everything she has done. Ibsen employs the use of many themes and symbols in his A Doll House to show the reader just how Nora was a doll-child who evolved into a doll-wife.

The central theme of A Doll House is a true marriage us a joining of equals. The entire play centers in on the crumbling of a marriage that is just the opposite of this. At the beginning of the play both of the Helmers seem happy with their marriage. Though, as the play moves along the imbalance becomes more and more apparent. By the end of the story, the marriage falls apart because of a complete lack of understanding between Torvald and Nora. Together in wedlock, the two cannot realize who they are as individuals. They can only see themselves as part of the marriage.

Another very important theme in this play is the home. From the very beginning of the play home is a place of comfort, joy, and shelter. The idea of home is woven into the idea of a happy family, which the Helmers seem to be. Towards the end of the play, the happiness in the Helmer household changes and the imbalance of power becomes a major issue. At this point, the seemingly happy home is revealed as just people putting on an act for each other and the outside world. The Helmers put up a façade, a doll's house, as a way of hiding the tension between the...

... middle of paper ...

...ven though he contests that the play is not a feminist play, it challenges the roles men and women played in society. It shows just how the women felt trapped and alone in their own homes. Although not everyone will agree with what she did, Nora had no other way of getting out of such a horrible situation.

Works Cited

Drake, David B. "Ibsen's A Doll House." Explicator 53.1 (1994): 3+. Ebscohost. Web. 22 July
"Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House": An Illustration of Symbolism." Web. 21
July 2011. .
Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll House." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth and
Kelly J. Mays. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. 1447-496. Print.
Kane, Tina. "The Doll's House." Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition (2004): 1-
2. Ebscohost. Web. 23 July 2011.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated Essay

- Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated To answer the above, one needs to be aware of when the drama was first written (1879) and how audiences were shocked at Ibsen's radical perception of the social roles of husband and wife in middle class society at that time. The role of middle class women at that time was simple, they bore children and kept house in a very clear manner, albeit with the aid of a housekeeper or maid. They were subservient to men and were considered accoutrements and playthings....   [tags: A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen Themes Essays]

Strong Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Marxism in A Doll´s House by Henrik Ibsen

- A remarkable trait in which literature embodies is the ability to capture and preserve cultural and societal beliefs. One may read a literary work published in the 1800’s and observe how society has evolved since then, or in contrast observe how society has digressed since then. Regardless of the genre and content, one may still infer when the piece was produced based on the diction and syntax of said piece. This is possible because literature is essentially written picture- it is a time machine for your conscience, a window to the past....   [tags: Literature, Themes]

Strong Essays
1678 words (4.8 pages)

Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' A Doll 's House ' Essay

- In Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House there are many themes, but none more important than the main theme of women’s rights. The theme of women’s rights is revolved around the main character Nora, who is subjected to oppression and treated like she is inferior to the men in the play until the end when stands up for herself. Ibsen representation of Nora comes across as the traditional woman during the time period, the Victorian era, in which the play takes place. This projection of Nora’s character is made evident throughout the play, from her actions to the way the other characters act towards her....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Woman]

Strong Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- Literature doesn 't reserved the right to be only written works, but spoken, shared, made-up and expressed in different forms such as live performance, music, TV shows, comic strips and others. For a literature must have some the follow elements plot, characterization, conflict, theme, symbolism and others in order to be a piece of literature. One the example of literature work is A Doll 's House by Henry Ibsen in which Ibsen incorporated all the element of literature into one piece. In this essay will show how this element combine in a single work and what makes this literature work is unique....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, Norway]

Strong Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- In literary works, authors create minor characters to enhance the text by providing the audience with a subplot to accompany the initial narrative. In addition to the main plot, the subplot can also formulate themes from the text. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen utilizes contrasting characteristics between Nora Helmer and Kristine Linde, regarding relationships, employment, and their status in society to emphasize his anticipative progression of women. The perception of relationships differs greatly between Mrs....   [tags: Marriage, Love, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen]

Strong Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)

Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House And Hedda Gabbler Essays

- Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian poet, playwright, and theatre director during the 19th century, Ibsen has been considered one of the most important and influential dramatists of his time, often referred to as the father of realism and a leading activist in the, revolution and transformation of modern drama. This is especially evident through his plays A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabbler. Ibsen is also associated as being one of the first advocates for women 's rights. Through his plays, Ibsen challenged society, the values of the class systems, and the liberties and basic rights of an individual....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway]

Strong Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essays

- “I would never dream of doing anything you didn’t want me to,” Nora explains to Torvald as she stuffs her hidden Macaroons farther down into her pocket. These macaroons are just one of many symbols seen throughout the play, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Symbolism is important in literature because it provides meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being said or described. Symbolism often times represents the theme of a story on the physical level i.e. objects, people, weather, and setting....   [tags: Christmas tree, Symbol, Henrik Ibsen, Christmas]

Strong Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Essay about A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

- The themes of “objecthood” and “feminine liberation” in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House as conveyed through the characterization of Torvald and Nora, diction, stage directions and structure in two integral scenes. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House conveys the story of a wife’s struggle to break away from the social norms of late nineteenth century middle class Europe. Throughout the play, Ibsen focuses on Nora’s characterization and experiences and thus this leads the reader to perceive her as the protagonist....   [tags: Objecthood, Feminine Liberation]

Strong Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

Henrik Ibsen's Expression of Beliefs in An Enemy of the People Essay

- Henrik Ibsen's Expression of Beliefs in An Enemy of the People Henrik Ibsen, the controversial author of, An Enemy of the People, lived in an interesting point in history in which writing was a way of communicating your most radical ideas. An Enemy of the People is one of several Ibsen dramas that are sometimes referred to as problematic works because they are based on social problems and issues he has with the government. Examples of other controversial plays by Ibsen are The Wild Duck, A Doll's House, and Ghosts....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, Play, Enemy of the People]

Strong Essays
1716 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on The Role of Realism in Ibsen's, A Doll's House

- Is “A Doll’s House” simply another text in which the composer questions the ideals of his society. Or is it advocating the rights of women as individuals, perhaps a pioneer in feminist literature. One may argue that “A Doll’s House” is nothing more than a product of Henrik Ibsen’s examination of his contemporary society’s values and morals, specifically those of the bourgeois class. But Ibsen does more than simply reflect upon these values and morals, and rather uses the setting of a middleclass household for his social commentary, exploring the moral conflict within his characters and the dangers of deception....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)