Symbolism of a Doll's House

Topics: Henrik Ibsen, Norway / Pages: 8 (2826 words) / Published: May 5th, 2015
Alex Simonton
Research Paper
Third Period
April 15, 2015

Symbolism of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is perhaps one of the most hotly debated plays to come out of the 19th century. The eighteen hundreds continued the process of the demystification that began with the Enlightenment. Because of the discoveries of the Enlightenment, humans could no longer be sure about their place in the universe. This, of course, had an impact on the theater. The movement toward realism, which, like the 19th century in general, was an attempt to become more scientific. Ibsen is considered by many as the father of realism, and one of the plays that belong to Ibsen 's realism period is A Doll’s House. But the play would come to be noted for more reasons than its style. The play would be remembered for its social impact as well as its artistic achievement: "Even Strindberg ...admitted...that, thanks to A Doll’s House, 'marriage was revealed as being a far from a divine institution, people stopped regarding it as an automatic provider of absolute bliss, and divorce between incompatible parties came at last to be accepted as conceivably justifiable '" (Meyer 454-455). Therefore the reader can see that Ibsen 's realism contributed to the demystification of Western civilization. The final scene produced the door slam heard around the world and the play is still the object of debate today. But Ibsen was not interested in becoming a spokesman for feminism. He just wanted to create a great play that dealt with the liberation of human beings, and he did. We are led to believe that Ibsen was more interested in art than social change. Perhaps, as his notes state, he was looking for a modern tragic hero. And what we know from Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy is that the hero is always partly trapped by forces from without. And who could be more trapped by outside forces than a wife and mother in a Victorian household: "A



Cited: Bradbrook, M.C.  Ibsen The Norwegian:  A Revaluation.  Conn:  Archon, 1946. March 3, 2015 Clurman, H. Ibsen.  New York: Collier Books, 1977. March 5, 2015 Gosse, E.  Ibsen 's Social Dramas. '"  Ibsen:  The Critical Heritage.  Ed Egan.  Boston:  Routledge and Degan Paul Ltd, 1972. March 7, 2015 Ibsen, H.  "A Doll 's House"  in Twelve Plays for the Theatre.  Ed Kaufmann, W.  The Portable Nietzsche.  Ed. and Trans.  Walter Kaufmann.  New York:  Penguin, 1954. March 15, 2015 Lord, H.F.  "from her Introduction to her translation to Nora, or A Doll 's House 1890." Henrik Ibsen:  A Critical Anthology.  Ed.  J Meyer, M.  Ibsen:  A Biography.  New York:  Doubleday, 1971.  March 19, 2015 Meyer, H.G.  Henrik Ibsen.  New York:  Frederick Ungar, 1972 Northam, J.  Ibsen 's Search for the Hero."  Ibsen:  A Collection of Critical Essays.  Ed. Rolf Fjelde.  New Jersey:  Prentice-Hall, 1965.  91-108. March 21, 2015 Templeton, J.  Ibsen 's Women.  New York:  Cambridge UP, 1997

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