Animal Imagery in A Doll’s House
In many pieces of literary work, there are elements that are used to help develop the audiences understanding of characters and events. 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, but effective, animal imagery to develop Nora’s character throughout the play. The animal imagery is carried out through the dialect between Nora and her husband Torvald. He uses a lot of bird imagery, seeming that Torvald thought of Nora as some kind of bird. It is also evident that the animal names he calls Nora, directly relates to how Nora is acting or how Torvald wants her to be portrayed.
In Act I, Torvald asks, “Is that my skylark twittering out there?” referring to Nora. A lark is a happy and carefree songbird. A lark can also be used as a verb that means to engage in spirited fun or merry pranks. Right from the beginning of the play it is evident that Nora is a lively spirited and carefree woman, just as a lark might be. Torvald again referrers to Nora early in t
From this we might assume that whenever Nora has spirit or is supposed to be happy, Torvald thinks of her as a bird, specifically a lark. He is in a sense treating her like a child or like a doll, instead of as his wife. But Torvald says that he will watch over her, implying that he does not trust her or want to trust her. " A dove is the unmistakable symbol of peace, or peace keeping, which is in essence what Nora it trying to do. In parallel to what she is trying to do, a fairy is a small creature with magical powers, which at this point Nora would love to be so she could prevent Torvlad for finding out about what she has done. If Torvald fires Krogstad then she will have to give him the money she borrowed and things will be anything but peaceful after that. This is how Torvald wants Nora to be, perfect and happy all the time no matter what she really may want or be feeling. When Torvald says that it must be done, Nora gets quite worked up about it. Through the animal imagery of the squirrel, Ibsen is also foreshadowing that Nora is hiding more than just macaroons form Torvald. Nora tries to calm down after Torvald"tms outburst at her for her betrayal. He attempts to comfort her by saying that he will keep her despite the incident.