Overview of the Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

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Non-comparative essay
A Doll’s House
A Doll’s House, originally titled as Et Dukkehjem by a Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was first premiered in 1879, Denmark. This play revolves around a conflict between the two characters, Torvald Helmer and his wife, Nora. How do the techniques in this play guide his audience’s response to the central characters and the action? First we will explain how the costumes are used as masks, then how the doors reflects Nora’s entrapment and her longing to freedom, to finish on how the macaroons are a sign for Nora’s secret and childishness. Ibsen creates an atmosphere based on appearances; it is one of the most important symbols in this play. Costumes are a big deal of appearances; they are used as a tool to hide Nora’s and Torvald’s superficial relationship and her secret. In the first Act, Nora’s outdoor clothes when she comes in, foreshadows her leaving in the end. They come back in the second Act lying on the sofa; it represents Nora’s longing to escape. Her outdoor clothes are probably the only truthful costume that does not hide anything... In the end, she will change to her outdoor clothes and leave; she wears it when she is having her first serious conversation with Torvald. This reveals her true self. However, Helmer organizes a fancy dress ball and wants Nora “to go as a Neapolitan fisher-girl and dance the tarantella”. The fact that Helmer chose the dress for Nora shows how much appearances means to him. Furthermore, Nora is “anxious to look really beautiful at the fancy dress ball”, Nora has to wear a mask in order to keep the secret, even in the presence of those who are dearest to her. “I wish I could tear them into million pieces” symbolizes Nora’s longing to escape, to end this madness tormenting her. In fact, her wish of destroying all the fancy dress shows how much the dresses are a tool to hide her secret. After Dr. Rank declared his love to Nora, she asks him to go talk to Torvald because an unwanted visitor...
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