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A Doll's House

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ioulia richards

on 24 April 2013

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Transcript of A Doll's House

Symbolism In 'A Doll's House' THE CHRISTMAS TREE
by celia and jilly what does the christmas
tree represent? Quotes In the stage directions, we witness the christmas tree arrive into the Helmer household.. this is followed by Nora saying; 'Hide the Christmas tree properly Helena.' (page 147)

This is our first introduction to the symbolism of the christmas tree which is portrayed throughout the novel. We immediately notice the word 'hide' which infers concealment, another key theme throughout the novel. 'Then I'll wrap it in pretty gold paper and hang it on the christmas tree' (page 150)

In this dialogue, Torvald and Nora are discussing christmas presents. Nora requests money instead of a present. To convince Torvald, she describes how they can decorate the tree with the money. Money throughout the play is a key motif, as Torvald and Nora both revolve around money and what it can do for them.

We can see how the christmas tree represents the facade put up by Nora as the tree is decorated, to hide the bareness underneath. Just like Nora, it is dressed up more elaborately than it really is. 'I dare say I shall know them all this evening when the christmas tree is lighted up' (page 152)

The symbol of the christmas tree is also used as a foreshadowing device here. This line is said by Torvald and it shows us how Torvald is in the dark but soon knowledge will come to light. The christmas tree is directly linked to the character of Nora and her role within her marriage. She is reified by Torvlad and made as something decorative only to be used for his image, just as a christmas tree is used to decorate the family room in the christmas season. The christmas tree is also used to represent appearences. For instance the facade of a family that he suggests when he realizes Nora's true self. 'Keep up appearances' Torvald uses Nora to keep up a reputation within society of a happy family, just as a christmas tree is used to evidence the happiness of christmas time. Just as Nora instructs the maid that the children cannot see the tree until it has been decorated, she tells Torvald that no one can see her in her dress until the evening of the dance. This is emphasizing her role as a plaything within the house who is used to add charm to the family. The stage directions indicate: The christmas tree: it is stripped and disheveled with the stumps of burnt-out candles. (page 181)The facade of Nora's appearance and the happy family that it represents have been stripped or demolished. Whereas before the christmas tree was decorated and and bright, now it has no decorations and is bare (from happiness). The stage directions indicate:
The christmas tree: it is stripped and disheveled with the stumps of burnt-out candles. (page 181)

We are also drawn to the reference of candles. Candles are supposed to be the light of hope, and because we see this stumped-out it shows that any hope for the marriage to work has been extinguished. how does this
ideal change?
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