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A dolls house

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A doll’s house

Costume
I think the costumes used in ‘A doll’s house’ were quite symbolic and symbolized the characters various roles in society. When we first see Nora she is wearing a shiny blue dress which shows she is well off which gives the audience the idea that she has a degree of elegance about her. In those times women dressed modestly and this was an example of the types of clothes they were supposed to wear while around the house. They were expected to cook, clean and look after their children while around the house. I think her blue dress is everything Nora wants to be but she is not. Blue represents calm and tranquillity but how she feels inside is very different from the dress and the colour. Inside her heart she feels so insecure and wearing this is her way of hiding behind this and instead she shows her superficial and transient qualities such as her beauty. In some ways Christine is the idealistic Nora. Her clothing is quite dark at the start of the play and simple and through this we establish that she has an aura of maturity whereas Nora goes for the more flashy type of approach. Their costume reflects how they behave. Nora has the mind of a child and shows this through her lavish blue dress and Christine has the mind of an adult so chooses to dress simply to show, in my opinion she does not care about material things. I think they both wear different clothes to show their difference but more importantly the two conflicting sides of Nora.
Set/Props
I think the Set was used effectively and is a very interesting aspect of the play; it is in the shape of A dolls house. I think doing this was effective because it mirrored Nora’s predicament and how she was being used as ‘a doll’. Also the set constantly rotates, I think this is done to sum up Nora’s life. She is constantly being controlled by Torvald and is not seen as an equal in Torvald’s eyes. The rotation reflects this cycle and once she breaks free from Torvald the rotation stops. The set is also a good metaphor for a dolls house. It looks like a typical 19th century home but a missing wall within the set gives the audience omniscience of their private lives just like a dolls house has a missing wall in it, and we see this when Nora tells Christine her secret about the money. I also think props were a key element of the play. For example in act 3 Dr Rank has a coded conversation with Nora. He says he will attend the next fancy dress ball wearing a big black hat that will make him invisible. This is a way of saying he will be dead. I think the Christmas tree is also an effective prop. At the beginning on the play on Christmas Eve Nora still believes her marriage is still happy and the Christmas tree is shinning with decorations but by Christmas day the tree is stripped of its decorations and its candles have burnt out and I think it is effective because it is a direct symbol of her marriage towards Torvald.
Sound/Music
I think sound/music was another key element within the play and was used to good effect. For example when the set rotates the music is slow and has a classical feel to it; I think this was done to reflect the time era in which the play was set in as this was the type of music that people would listen to. Sound is also used to create an atmosphere and heighten it. For example at the end of act 1 there is a non-naturalistic sound, a drumbeat and it speeds up and I think this was done to show Nora’s chaotic emotions. She has too much to do with little time left and the music also speeds up to show how little control she has over her life. Just after this the music is light and has a soft tone and this was effective because it showed her emotions before and after her experience.
Lighting
Out of all the drama mediums used I think lighting was the most effective. For example to show ‘morning’ light was shone from one corner of a window to another as if it was to resemble the sun coming through the window and to show ‘night’ the light in the set was turned off and this was effective because it showed the passing of time within a non-naturalistic set. Also light was used to place emphasis on certain points on the play, for example when Nora and Torvald had their final argument. Throughout the play the lighting was mostly dim or dark. This gave a dramatic effect to the drama. The dim lighting emphasised and mirrored the setting of the play. A dolls house;( a restricted atmosphere and an isolated place.) Also at the end of act 1 the lighting is pitch black and I think this is effective because it represents all her emotions. She feels trapped and black connotes danger and fear. Light is also used to symbolize Nora’s state of awareness. After Torvald claims to be man enough to take everything upon himself and while she is talking to Dr Rank the lighting becomes dark. I think this symbolism refers to two processes. Nora uses her sexual attractiveness to manipulate the dying Dr Rank into giving her money. But then Dr Rank confesses his love for her and she brings out a lamp which is significant because i think it is a symbol of hope. Finally Dr Rank talks of death as a ‘big black hat’ that will make him invisible (an image of obliteration of life). But Nora brings him a light for his cigar as she wishes him goodbye. This is effective as it shows compassion and hope.
Space/Levels
Space and levels were used effectively. For example Torvald being one of the main characters in the play stood at a higher level at different moments of the drama. For example when Torvald was addressing Nora about Krogstead he stood at his full height after initially being quite playful with her. By doing this he demonstrates at different times of the drama his authorative figure and creates a sense of intimidation. Space was also effective within the drama. For example when Nora and Torvald argued for the final time they both stood apart from each other. This created tension and they both used the space to show the distance between themselves, likewise in the beginning of the play when they kissed they moved closer together. They emphasised this and created a feeling of happiness between themselves.
Movement/Mime
Although there is use of movement which I think is effective there is very little use or no mime. When there was drama/dramatic scenes movement became quicker around the set to show this. For example when Nora hadn’t managed to convince Torvald not to read his mail she paced up and down repeatedly and I think this is effective because her movement showed that she was clearly worried. An atmospheric atmosphere was also created when Torvald is about to read the letter about the IOU fraud. Both of their focus is fixed at one point in the play. There is also briefly within the play use of synchronised movement (when Torvald and Nora dance to the Tarantella). Synchronised movement was not used often and I think this is to reflect both Torvald and Nora. They are people that have two different mindsets and are from two different worlds.
Use of Vocals
I think the use of vocals was extremely effective. Nora had the most alternations in her voice and this is because throughout the play her emotions frequently came through compared to all the other characters. In general Nora varies her pitch on a number of occasions and she does this because she normally wants something from Torvald. For example in the beginning when Nora asks Torvald for money she speaks in a persuasive voice to try and get the money from him. Nora also at times in the play quickened her pace of speech; I think this shows nervousness and insecurity. Nora also throughout the play spoke the most which suggested she had something to hide.

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