If there is nothing intrinsically precious, but only superficially glorious, there is nothing to stay. It is the same with marriage. Just as Robert Frost conveys in his poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” even gold cannot stay no matter how beautiful it is. Comparing to Robert Frost’s masterpiece, we witness how an ostensibly joyful marriage turns out to be a catastrophe in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. In this play, we can perceive honor and pride, but the main qualities a marriage requires are innocence and truth. Between the poem and the play, we can perceive many similar perspectives.
The poem starts by presenting us a scenery of spring sprouts as it indicates in the line: “Nature’s first green is gold”(Frost 1). Rather than meaning gold itself, the “gold” here indicates anything that is newborn and beautiful. The word “green” reminds us that a fresh bud leaps out of a gray twig which has endured a cold winter, and now spring is to approach. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen depicts the beginning of Act One by introducing a well decorated green Christmas tree. And then the female character Nora comes with a dozen of Christmas presents. All of these settings and plots, as same as in the poem, deliver a beautiful and fresh background. In addition, before reading on, we don’t know Frost will amaze us that green will no longer stay, and the warm happy family in A Doll’s House will no longer remain.
In the second line, Frost sets the protagonist “nature” of the poem as productive, fertile and gentle. He applies “her” to indicate that mother nature functions as a female. The words “hold” and “flower” portray her as delicate and just like a woman, needing to care and protect. When it comes to the play, Ibsen also uses a lot of ink on his f…
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…me, charming wife, robust children, and secure income. Yet turns out to be disastrous that Nora has been sheltered so completely by her husband, as she had been by her father.(Galens)
Indeed, readers are amazed by such tremendous changes, yet left to think deeply about their meaning. If the innocence and truth are to go away, the marriage is not going to stay.
“A Doll’s House.” Drama for Students. Ed. David M. Galens and Lynn M. Spampinato. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 106-122. Gale Virtual Literature Collection. Web. 9 Feb. 2011.
Frost, Robert. “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 2010. 619. Print.
Heller, Otto. “Marriage in A Doll’s House.” Reading on A Doll’s House. Ed. Hayley R. Mitchell. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 1999. 97. Print.