Ibsen’s (p 41) at home. There is

Ibsen’s symbolic portrayal of the weather
functions as an echo for what is going to occur, meaning that it is a foundation
upon which actions arise. In the opening stage directions Ibsen sets the scene
by establishing a big wall of glass through which a “gloomy fjord
landscape” (p 1) is visible. It rains constantly, thus the weather is
throughout most of the play particularly dismal, a symbolic expression of the
oppressive atmosphere created by the social norms. The darkness of the weather also represents the dreariness
of the family circumstances, by being shrouded by secrets. Oswald is mainly
affected by the oppressing weather, as he complains that it prevents him from thinking
properly and resorts to drinking to cope with the circumstances. This
exemplifies how the dismal weather represses Oswald’s and Regina’s joy of life,
an inherited characteristic from Captain Alving. The weather clarifies
that, Oswald cannot live in a society, where there is “never a ray of sunshine”
(p 41), a symbol of the joy of life being repressed, supported by him “never
having seen the sun shine once” (p 41) at home. There is evidently, no place
for the joy of life to develop due to the conventional views of society, in
contrast to Paris where Oswald has “never noticed anything particularly unprincipled
about these people’s lives” (p 17), who share a more unconventional lifestyle. An
antithesis is, therefore, created between the “gloomy landscape”, a
personification of the restrictive society that motivates keeping up
appearances and obscuring the truth, and the sunny weather, symbolic of the joy
of life resultant of the truth being revealed. Throughout the majority of the
play Mrs. Alving represses the truth about Captain Alving and his lust for the
joy of life. However, once she acknowledges the truth and tells Oswald the true
story about his father, the sun breaks into the room cutting through the
darkness. Similarly, the truth frees them from the burden of their secrets. The
weather is, thus, double-sided, both symbolising the restrictive society, and concurrently,
representing a society free from
norms.