T. Morley, J. Miguel, and C. Leon

A Doll House - Symbolism


Money: material goodness and society’s perfection. Society judges success and happiness with material wealth and not how good one truly feels or how happy they really are. There is a problem with money because it binds people to each other, just like Nora and Krogstad, where true happiness is unbound and has no ties. The competition for money in the world also symbolizes Nora’s struggle for independence and self-fulfillment.
“What if Torvald heard! He mustn’t, not for anything in the world…I told you about the trip to Italy…. Papa didn’t give us a pin, I was to one that raised the money.” (p. 53)

Wedding Rings: another symbol of bonding, Nora wishes to erase all of her ties to her husband and her past. When it became clear to her that she was a possession and not a loved wife, she rejected the offer to live as a sister and wanted to cut all ties with her family. She got rid of her wedding ring to show her husband and the world that she was no longer bound to either and that she was an independent woman.
“Don’t feel yourself bound anymore than I will. There has to be absolute freedom for us both. Here, take your ring back. Give me mine.” (pg. 114)

Children: her three children are the only legitimate ties that keep her connected to her old life. Although she wishes to cut ties with her husband and her poor marriage, she cannot get rid of her relationship with her children. She cuts off her husband and the bondage of her past marriage, but you can never completely erase anything from your memory and undo the past, so you will always have a connection to the past; Nora’s bond is in her children
“Oh, you blind, incompetent child!” (pg. 110)
“Abandon your home, your husband, your children!” (pg 110)
“And do I have to tell you that! Aren’t they your duties to your husband and your children?” (pg. 111)

New Years: Nora looks forward to New Years because it is a chance for both her and Torvald to start clean and to do what is best for them. They see is as an official opportunity and a good time to start anew. The festivities and commotion of Christmas symbolize the turmoil in Nora’s life, and the New Year is her release.
“The Sweetest Miracle” (p. 114)