What is Symbolism
Symbolism is a commonly used literary device in different forms of literature to communicate some of the hidden meanings in them. It is also employed by the writer to express some characters’ emotional effects. In the piece, Ibsen employs the use of symbolism to communicate the relationship between Nora and Torvald Helmer, while at the same time conveying some complex concepts and ideas.
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In fact, symbolism elucidates the hidden conflicts between Nora, her husband and other people around them.
Some of the important symbols used in the piece include the Christmas tree, the letters, the locked mailbox, Dr. Rank’s calling cards and the Tarantella, which all give an outlook of what happens in the story, more so the relationship among the characters (Ibsen 44). For instance, the Christmas tree is a symbol of life, which Nora lives.
This is accompanied by outright images of stove, candles, and fire, which are used as symbols of comfort and warmth. Ibsen is a creative writer who makes his piece more interesting and attention-catching. For instance, he begins by exposing the readers to the experiences of luxury, harmony, and love, and then follows it with symbols that show disappointment, failure, and despair. As the story ends, the readers see Nora’s black scarf, which symbolizes death and sorrow.
The same is depicted in Dr. Rank’s calling card that has black crosses, which the readers can connect with Nora’s multicolored scarf that she during the practice of the tarantella dances. This symbolizes her dreams and desires, but more importantly, the black scarf can be linked to the death, which is also heard in her communication with Dr. Rank.
There is similarly a good and maintained room, which shows the readers about a good life, but as the readers continue to interact with the story, they question if indeed Nora has a good life (Ibsen 2). For example, Torvald prohibits Nora from eating macaroons, a symbol of control and dictatorship.
The readers see this clearly, as she disobeys him. Nora claims that she has always obeyed and followed the orders given by her husband, but in this one, she proves to be a disobedient woman. In fact, macaroons are used to symbolize deceit, disobedience, and betrayal. Another symbolism is the kind of conversation that Norah has about the dolls she bought for their daughter. Torvald tells her that even if the dolls are cheap, it does not have any significant effect because she would not take care of them.
This is a depiction that her daughter’s behavior is similar to Nora’s who has never been keen in taking care of the family. It implies that despite his effort, Nora keeps leaving her husband. The effects of the doll are felt towards the end of the story as Nora tells her husband that her father raised her like a doll. She says so to mean that her upbringing makes her fell unsatisfied in her marriage life.
To conclude, the symbolism in the piece makes it an excellent and unique one. The readers can deduce a lot from the symbols, including the hidden aspects of the characters and their lives. From the use of symbols and images, the readers see the inner worlds of Nora, her husband Torvald, Dr. Rank and her parents. This makes it exceptionally clear that symbolism has a greater effect in any piece of literature, and should be encouraged.