"A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

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Animal imagery is prevalent in a variety of literary selections. This paper will focus on animal imagery in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House by using the reader response strategy. In the play A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, animal imagery is used in the development of the main character Nora. It is also later found that the animal imagery is a critical part in understanding who Nora is and how other characters perceive her. Ibsen uses creative animal imagery to develop Nora's character throughout the play. The animal imagery is carried out through the conversation between Nora and her husband Torvald. Torvald uses a lot of bird imagery because he thinks of Nora as lark. It is also evident that the animal names he calls Nora, directly relate to how Nora is acting or how Torvald wants her to be portrayed. In Act 1, Torvald asks, "Is it my little lark twittering out there?" referring to Nora (3). A lark is a happy and carefree songbird. In the beginning of the play it is evident that Nora is or appears to be a lively-spirited and carefree woman, just like a lark. She has already made the loan with Krogstad. Torvald refers to Nora early in the play as "my little lark" when she is moving around the room and humming with a carefree spirit that characterizes the lark (3). It seems that whenever Nora is happy, Torvald thinks of her as a bird, specifically a lark. In contrast to Torvald's calling Nora a lark, he immediately refers to her as a squirrel in asking, "Is it my little squirrel bustling about?" (4). I think this is a interesting in the development of both Nora and Torvald's characters because a squirrel is quite different from a lark. A squirrel is a small furry rodent that tends to have negative and sneaky connotations. If someone is to squirrel away something, he/she is hiding or storing it. This is directly related to what Nora is doing; she is hiding or squirreling away the bag of macaroons, and she is hiding the illegal loan. For example, Torvald says to Nora,...
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