Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, exposes how dishonesty impacts lives. The Christmas Tree symbolizes Nora as only a decoration in her husband’s home. Dr. Rank represents the superficial relationships Nora maintains with males other than her husband. The tarantella symbolizes Nora’s married life. All of these symbols represent Nora. Of course, Nora epitomizes the lies corroding her marriage. A Doll’s House. The Christmas Tree, Dr. Rank, and the tarantella represents Nora’s, the main character, dishonesty as a lifestyle.
Nora’s deceitfulness in her marriage embodies material objects. One of those objects is the Christmas Tree. The Christmas Tree is brought into the house to be hidden at first. Nora instructs, “Hide the Christmas Tree carefully, Helen. Be sure the children do not see it until this evening, when it is dressed.” (Ibsen) Nora is like the tree. She has to be dressed and look pretty for Helmer. Everyone revolves around the tree, just like they do Nora. When the tree is stripped and bare, it will be discarded. Nora remains in Helmer’s home until her façade is stripped. When Helmer found out about the forgery he wanted to throw her away at first. Nora is Helmer’s possession only by her facade.
Nora’s interaction with men like with Helmer revolves on her beauty and mendacities. Dr. Rank and Nora’s relationship is superficial. Although Dr. Rank loves Nora, he really does not know the real her. She tries to tell him about her problem, but cannot after he professes his love for her. Nora said “You can do nothing for me now. Besides, I really don’t need any help at all. You will find that the whole thing is merely fancy on my part. It really is so of course it is!” (Ibsen) Dr. Rank loves her for the wrong reasons. He loves her for her beauty, compliance to Helmer’s every need, and the ability to be his confident. Dr. Rank represents the feigning relationship between men and women during this period. These relationships are based on duplicity.
The tarantella dance exemplifies Nora. It starts off demure and submissive. However, as the dance goes on the more unrestrained Nora becomes. At the end she dances like a wild woman. The woman at the end of the dance shows an independent streak. Helmer believes the dance only artistic. “She had danced her Tarantella, and it had been a tremendous success, as it deserved—although possibly the performance was a trifle too realistic—a little more so, I mean, than was strictly compatible with the limitations of art.” (Ibsen) Nora thinks this is the last dance of her life. She abandons all appearance of propriety. The dance illustrates Nora through her marriage. She was a liar, acquiescent, willful, wild, and finally free upon telling Helmer the truth throughout her marriage. Nora breaks from the suppression of her marriage by discarding her deceptions.
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shows how lies can affect a traditional marriage of the time. The Christmas Tree was just as much a portico as Nora had become. Dr. Rank symbolizes Nora’s relationships with men are insincere. The tarantella implies all walks of Nora’s life from dishonesty to the final truth. All of these things characterize Nora’s perfidy and final truthfulness. These symbols shows Nora’s journey through married life. Nora characterizes the position of a fraudulent woman that finally has the courage to break free and tell the truth.