• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Ibsen use motifs throughout the play to emphasise change in Noras character?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Ibsen use motifs throughout the play to emphasise change in Nora's character? Henrik Ibsen in 'A Doll's House' written in 1879 uses the repetition of motifs throughout the course of the play to emphasise how the characters go through a series of changes in their characteristics and relationships. Ibsen makes use of motifs such as a Christmas tree, fancy dress, macaroons and doors to highlight changes throughout the play. We see how many of the motifs stress how important Helmer sees appearance to be in order to have a good life; we see Nora complying with his rules. However, by the end of the play the reader can see the changes in Nora and Helmer that have taken place as the way that Ibsen use of the motifs has changed. In the exposition of the play we see Henrik us the motif of the Christmas tree to represent the Helmers family household. At the beginning of the play the Christmas helps represent the family unity and celebration within the household. When the Christmas tree is first brought into the house Nora make a big deal about its appearance: "The children mustn't see it before I've decorated it this evening"1 By using the motif of the Christmas tree, Ibsen is showing how important appearance, celebration and family life are to Nora and Helmer. ...read more.

Middle

The fancy dress that Nora wears helps show that Nora still loves Torvald as is willing to dress up for him and be his 'doll'7. Ibsen uses clothing to symbolise the exact moment that Nora and Torvald's relationship changes inside the play. "Yes Torvald, I've changed"8 Literally these words mean that she has changed out of her fancy dress costumes back into normal clothes however they also signify how Nora's character has changed. As she has witnessed Torvald's reaction to him finding out about the forged signature she has realised that Torvald isn't the man that she though he was. She no longer loves him and therefore no longer willing to dress up for him in the fancy dress clothes, she has changed into her normal clothes symbolising how she is no longer his toy. In the denouement of the play Nora changes back into her outdoor clothes which signifies how she is no longer loves Torvald enough to allow herself to be treated like his toy. Similarly to the exposition of the play the outdoor clothes symbolise how she does not belong in the house and is instead, a force that is returning to natural world instead of the materialistic world that Torvald created for her inside of his 'dolls house'. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the Christmas tree deteriorates and finally disappears, so does Nora's willingness to put up with the way that Torvald treats her, her love for him. Secondly the motif of clothing and its emphasis throughout the play helped clearly show how Nora was willing to be Torvald's doll as she loved him so much. However, clothing also helped to symbolise the clear turning point in her love for him and her clothes changes when her attitude towards Torvald changes and realises that he wasn't the man she thought he was. Lastly the motif of 'freedom' and how Nora chooses to define it throughout the play helps the audience see a clear change in Nora in the course of the play. Firstly she relies on Torvald to define her freedom for her as she was willing to do whatever he wanted, however by the end of the play after his betrayal towards her, she defines her own freedom and becomes an independent woman. I think that Ibsen's use of motifs successfully emphasises the changes in Nora's character as they clearly allow the audience to see the contrast in Nora's character at the exposition and denouement of the play and how she has gone from being Torvald's 'doll' into discovering herself, leaving the household and becoming her own woman. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Discuss how Ibsen has shaped your response to the issues raised in A Dolls ...

    he is anxious that his reputation will be tarnished by Nora's actions. The use of imperative language "take off...take it off... it must be hushed up". demonstrates the facade which Torvald presents to the world and which has been threatened by the discovery of Nora's actions.

  2. There are many differences but also similarities between the ways Henrik Ibsen and Thomas ...

    went, the arms of the mechanical reaper revolving slowly......rabbits, hares, snakes, rats, mice, retreated inwards as into a fastness, unaware of the ephemeral nature of their refuge.' Through this description Hardy presents an ambiguous attitude to modernity of the work being done, which results in the death of the animals.

  1. Would The Dolls House be considered as a feminist play? A Dolls house, by ...

    This is because her husband never talked to her like an adult, not letting her decide upon things and more importantly playing with her like his pet doll. At the end of the book, Torvald, says 'that's just like a woman'.

  2. Shakespeare makes precise use of imagery to emphasise guilt

    Due to Lady Macbeth's extreme desire to eliminate her guiltiness, emphasis is put on the guilt to show how disturbing the feeling can be. Lastly, the amount of guilt Macbeth feels is so immense that Shakespeare uses imagery to describe it.

  1. How does Macbeths portrayal change throughout the play?

    (to ROSS and ANGUS) I thank you, gentlemen. (aside) This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth

  2. Ibsen wanted to use his play A Dolls House to challenge the norms of ...

    But you also see her keeping secrets from her husband when she hides the macaroons from him - "Hel: [wagging his finger at her] Hasn't Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today? Nora: No; what makes you think that?"1 This was a foreshadow to the other much bigger

  1. In "The Tempest" Shakespeare utilizes the motif of clothing to show how wealth and ...

    He replies, ?If but one of [Gonzalo?s] pockets could speak, would it not say he lies?? (II.i 70-71). Now that Antonio?s surrounded by rich supplies, his expectations are exceedingly higher, the condition of clothing being one of them. He refuses to believe that symbolically the men?s clothes could have redeemed themselves, and continues to believe that the clothes are dirty.

  2. Othello - A Racist Play?

    a socially constructed concept, but yet it has acted as one of the most powerful, yet fragile bench points of social difference.? [14] The Elizabethan Thoughts on Foreigners The differences between the modern perceptions of race and those of Shakespeare?s era are essential.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work