The Doll''s House by Henrik Ibsen is a modern tragedy that strikes normal people living in the normal society of today.The Dolls House , published in 1879 was far ahead if its times. It belonged to an era when a conservative and an orthodox society existed and when women were kept in their place --which was the home and the hearth.Ibsen created a modern society then and he was immensely successful .The use of symbolism to depict his story was also a unique and novel method. Ibsen has used symbols extensively and quite appropriately.One of the most prominent symbols used is the Christmas tree, which symbolizes joy and happiness.It is suggestive of the unity of the family.Being decorated with various brights lights and beautiful gifts which the family had received for Christmas, the tree represents love, joy and happiness.This joy is symbolic of the joy and happiness of the family as they anticipate a huge improvement in their financial status as Helmer is expected to take up a job in the bank. But very soon the Christmas tree is shown disheveled and stripped of its beauty and grandeur. This downfall is symbolic of the family''s shattered dreams of being rich brought about by the appearance of Krogstad and because he has threatened to expose Nora''s crime of forgery.
Helena is asked to hide the Christmas Tree by Nora because Nora is shattered and nervous as she was now losing the happiness they were so eagerly expecting to enjoy.Another symbolic feature is the act of Nora showing her eating macaroons secretively as she does not want her husband to see her eating .This act of Nora reflects upon her husband''s strict character.The ending of the play also reveals another symbolic feature. The play ends in Nora moving out of the house into the dark, vile,world of predators.Nora bangs the door as she goes out. The banging of the door is symbolic of the anger in her and the fear of leaving the security of The Doll''s House.Thus, we see that symbolism is being used to a very great extent.Ibsen has been very successful in making the symbols used, to reflect his theme effectively.