A Doll's House

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The Doll’s House Symbol Analysis

The Doll’s House Symbol Icon
There are a few mentions of doll’s houses early on in the play, for example when Nora shows Torvald the dolls she bought for her daughter, and says that the fact that they are cheap doesn’t matter because she will probably break them soon anyway. This is interesting as it suggests that Nora is raising her daughter for a life similar to Nora’s own, yet simultaneously foreshadows Nora breaking up her family life by leaving Torvald. When Nora plays with her children she also refers to them as her “little dollies.” However, it is not until the end of the play that the metaphor becomes explicitly clear. Nora tells Torvald that both he and her father treated her like a doll, and cites this as one of the reasons why she has become dissatisfied and disillusioned with her life with him.
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The Doll’s House Symbol Timeline in A Doll's House

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Doll’s House appears in A Doll's House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Money and Work Theme Icon
Deceit Theme Icon
Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Nora shows off the presents she has bought for the children (a doll for her daughter; a sword and a horse for the boys) and the maids, which... (full context)
Act Three
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
...as her father. She adds that he played with her as she played with her dolls, and that it is the same now she is married to Torvald. She says she... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
...explains that, although Torvald has been kind to her, she has only ever been his doll-wife, just as she was her father’s doll-child, saying she found it fun when Torvald came... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
...to change, but Nora says the only way that would be possible were if his “doll” were to be taken away. Torvald says he cannot imagine being separated from her, and... (full context)