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Work in Translation - An examination of ornamental symbols used to reinforce character in, A Dolls House, by Henrik Ibsen

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Sarang Gupta 000953-141 IB English | Work in Translation Assignment An examination of ornamental symbols used to reinforce character in, A Doll?s House, by Henrik Ibsen An examination of ornamental symbols used to reinforce character in A Doll?s House. Henrik Ibsen?s, A Doll?s House is a comprehensive exploration of many controversial issues of his day, being immediately recognized as a scandalous piece of work when released in 1879. The play becomes the starting point of the post-Romantic era, with the concept of a realistic style used to portray the identities of various characters. By the description of the minimalistic, yet powerful types of symbolic objects, multiple aspects of the story are strengthened and reinforced. One such aspect involves the characterization of women. In the play, Ibsen?s use of ornamental symbols is crucial in developing Nora?s physical and psychological portrayal in her dysfunctional, marital relationship with Torvald. The representation of Nora?s physical and psychological state in her relationship is developed with the symbolic use of the Christmas tree, her dresses, and the dollhouse imagery. The Christmas tree, primarily used as a decorative ornament for the festive season, is seen to facilitate the development of Nora?s character both physically and psychologically in her inadequate relationship with Torvald. ...read more.


Linde suggests that Nora should tell Torvald about the secret of the fraud, she smiles and states that she will do so when he is no longer as devoted to her as now, or ?when [her] dancing and dressing-up and reciting have palled on him? (12). Nora is relying on her dresses to play a role of the ideal objects that will continue to cause Torvald to be fond of her physical beauty. She is proposing that only when she becomes old and unattractive that her dressing will no longer be of use to act as the underlying cause for the role of a wife for him. Accordingly, it is revealed that the relationship between them is merely a superficial one. Their relationship only has to do with Nora?s fancy dressing to please Torvald?s sensual desires, devoid of actual love and compassion. Nora can further be seen as a plaything to her husband when she wishes for Torvald to choose a dress for her in a flirtatious manner. Evidently, she says, ?There is no one has such good taste as you?Torvald, couldn?t you take me in hand and decide what I shall go as, and what sort of a dress I shall wear?? (26). ...read more.


Although she did not directly display such a mental state, it was apparent as her only hope in her marriage with Torvald was perhaps in raising her own children also as dolls, just as she was raised by her father and Torvald. Thus the dollhouse scenario that Nora discusses as a final release of her psychological feelings displays both her mental and physical involvement in a meaningless relationship with her husband. The way that symbols can be used as an effective literary technique is evident in Henrik Ibsen?s, A doll?s House. Ibsen is subtly able to incorporate various symbols, grouped together as household ornaments, in developing both the physical and psychological portrayal of the central character, Nora. After exploring such symbols of the Christmas tree, her dresses, and the dollhouse imagery outlined in the final act, it can be concluded that Nora?s depiction as an unsatisfied woman in her marital affiliation with Torvald was put to a more heightened level. Considering Ibsen?s use of this literary effect, it can be made certain that the development of Nora?s physical and psychological aspects throughout her dysfunctional relationship with Torvald have been crucial in contributing to the play?s realistic style, giving it both success and a topic of great controversy. ...read more.

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