Symbols and Motifs in A Dollshouse

  • Created by: Megnicpip
  • Created on: 23-05-18 17:44
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  • Symbols and Motifs
    • Letters
      • Many of the plot’s twists and turns depend upon the writing and reading of letters, which function within the play as the subtext that reveals the true, unpleasant nature of situations obscured by Torvald and Nora’s efforts at beautification
      • Dr. Rank’s method of communicating his imminent death is to leave his calling card marked with a black cross in Torvald’s letterbox.
        • By leaving his calling card as a death notice, Dr. Rank politely attempts to keep Torvald from the “ugly” truth. Other letters include Mrs. Linde’s note to Krogstad, which initiates her -life-changing meeting with him, and Torvald’s letter of dismissal to Krogstad.
    • The Christmas Tree
      • Symbolises Nora's position in the household as a plaything who is pleasing to look at and adds charm to the home.
      • When Nora's psycholigcal condtion begins to erode the christmas tree becomes 'dishevelled' and bedraggled'.
    • New Years Day
      • the start of a new, happier phase in their lives
      • By the end of the play, however, the nature of the new start that New Year’s represents for Torvald and Nora has changed dramatically. They both must become new people and face radically changed ways of living.
        • the new year comes to mark the beginning of a truly new and different period in both their lives and their personalities.
    • Nora's Definition of Freedom
      • By the end of the play, Nora seeks a new kind of freedom. She wishes to be relieved of her familial obligations in order to pursue her own ambitions, beliefs, and identity.


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