Master Builder Freudian Symbols Essay, Research Paper
Freudian Symbols in The Master Builder
The Master Builder, by Henrik Ibsen, is a drama about individualism, morality, and
ego. But beneath those really equivocal descriptions lies a drama with symbols that clearly
picture the corporate unconscious. Through a careful psychoanalytical review of the
text, the relationship between the symbolism and the psychological subjects can be
discovered as they interact throughout the drama.
Within a drama, ? symbolism has a broader function as a sort of natural metaphor, or
manner of comparing? ( Neu 115 ) . A psychoanalytic unfavorable judgment will concentrate in the
symbols within the drama and detect their? hidden significances, ? because? elements of the
latent content are expressed non straight but symbolically in manifest content? ( Erdelyi
152 ) .
Solness, the primary character, is a successful but aging designer who uses others
to carry through his ain selfish purposes. He demands regard and fright from all characters who
interact with him. Even his old woodworking instructor refers to him as? the head? and garbages
to do determinations without Solness? consent ( Ibsen 13 ) . But, beneath the difficult outside, he
wrestlings with inherent aptitudes and dark forces. And yet, he can non overcome the sexual
compulsion that drives him through life; Solness is a nymphomaniac and can non manage his
married woman? s sterility which consequences in the loss of their sexual relationship. In an attempt to
obtain sexual freedom, Solness destroys himself.
Hilda is besides a nymphomaniac. Because she went through adolescence without a
female parent, she was unable to successfully decide an individuality struggle as a kid. This consequences
in her inability to develop her ain gender individuality, and she can non, hence, make a
relationship with Mrs. Solness, but turns to Halvard to carry through her sexual demands alternatively.
While both of the antecedently mentioned word pictures may look, at first
glimpse, to be rather unrealistic, the actuality of each of them is much more plausible after
a close analysis of the Freudian symbols in the drama. Then, an accurate personality for
each character may be obtained.
The first obvious symbol in the drama is the characters? ageless mentions to
? rooms. ? Solness fears that the young person will non? do room? for him, and the room
symbolizes the uterus – a topographic point where Solness can take safety from his ever-present
desires and return to artlessness ( Ibsen 115 ) . He decidedly shouts, ? do room – do
room – do room! ( Ibsen 540 ) .
And, ? do room? is exactly what Mrs. Solness does. Offering Hilda
cordial reception, she instantly becomes concerned with fixing a room for the kid.
Again, Mrs. Solness is presented as the female parent and rapidly welcomes Hilda into her
uterus and intends to care for the kid as a female parent would. In contrast to Solness?
exclaiming, ? There? s non that much room here, ? ( Ibsen 157 ) Mrs. Solness provinces,
? There? s more than adequate room? ( Ibsen 632 ) . In the same manner, Hilda is given the
kids? s room and this symbolizes her function as Mrs. Solness? lost kid. Unfortunately,
Hilda? s individuality issues prevent her from presuming the function Mrs. Solness needs and wants
her to set about.
While, the room serves as a symbol of the uterus, the assorted entrywaies and issues
function a similar map as they designate the entryway to the uterus – the womb. Solness
frights youth will destruct the uterus he is seeking to make and calls, ? someday young person will
semen here, strike harding at the door? ( Ibsen 542 ) . Then as if on cue, Hilda arrives. Bing
the symbol of young person, she implores that he ( and his married woman ) ? open your door to the immature.
Let them come in with you? ( Ibsen 980 ) .
The symbol of a bird is used to portray the wild passion of Hilda. As the act of
winging symbolizes the capableness to execute sexually, the bird epitomizes the sexual
being. And, in the drama, Hilda is the character with the wild and wild animal appetency.
When Solness asks her if she will return place, she tells him, ? Wild birds ne’er like
coops. Birds of quarry like runing best? ( Ibsen 2212 ) .
But, the bird is non the lone emblem used to picture the intense sensualness in Hilda.
When the reader gets the description of her, she is full of symbols the denote her
? She is of medium tallness, supple, and grammatical. Dressed in
a sawed-off shirt, crewman blouse unfastened at the pharynx, and a small
crewman chapeau. She has a backpack on the dorsum and a long alpenstock?
( Ibsen 547 ) .
While the initial description is instead self-explanatory, the most interesting subdivision can be
detected through the symbols used in the description. She carries with her a drawn-out stick
which is an obvious phallic symbol, and serves to stand for her compulsion with the male
genital organ. In add-on, her vesture is that of a crewmans? which can easy be paralleled to
H2O – the symbol for amnionic fluid. Indeed, this really calculated word picture of Hilda? s
gender can non be easy ignored.
Even the flowers in Mrs. Solness? garden are used to typify and contrast the
beauty and lecherousness within Hilda and Mrs. Solness. Coming up from the garden with a
corsage of flowers, Hilda asks Mrs. Solness, ? wear? T you go down even one time in a piece
and see all those lovely things? ( Ibsen 2002 ) ? Mrs. Solness replies that, ? it? s grown so
me, all of it. I? m about frightened of seeing it once more? ( Ibsen 2005 ) . She is
rather unable to appreciate the guiltless gender of the garden because her age and her
experiences have caused her to go disassociated with sex and love and hope. The
decease of her kids and the sensed unfaithfulness of her hubby has given her an
vaccination against the powerful beauty within the garden.
And yet, the fact that Hilda is referred to as? princess? and non? queen? creates a
really distinguishable duality between the function she plays and the function Mrs. Solness plays with
respect to Solness. While there is grounds to back up that Mrs. Solness can be Halvard? s
female parent figure, Hilda can merely be the opposite. Solness tells Hilda, ? the princess shall
hold her palace? ( Ibsen 2588 ) . Rather than give her the rubric of queen ( and female parent ) , she is
given the function of the guiltless kid ( princess ) .
While many of the symbols in the drama portray the sensualness of the characters,
there are still more symbols which serve as Windowss into the psychological heads of the
characters. For illustration, the palace, churches, and books represent the three constituents
of personality: the Idaho, self-importance, and superego. The palaces in the sky symbolize the Idaho for
Hilda ab initio and Solness finally. The Idaho is the portion of the personality incorporating
energy with sexual and/or aggressive inherent aptitudes; the pleasance rule. Hilda expresses
her desire for a sexual relationship with Halvard through her want for a palace in the air
and likewise, Halvard imagines that the land will let him to give in to his
despairing impulse to be gratified through intercourse with Hilda.
If the palace represents the Idaho, so the churches logically symbolizes the
superego. The superego is defined as? the yesteryear of the personality that represents good
and scruples, that distinguishes right from incorrect in moralistic footings? ( Berger, 39 ) .
However, the decease of Solness? kids gives him the strength to quash his superego
and, as a consequence, he ceased making churches. He tells Hilda, ? from the twenty-four hours I lost them, I
ne’er wanted to construct another church? ( Ibsen 1410 ) . Interestingly, while Solness did
physique churches, they all had awfully elongated towers. As the tower doubtless stood
for a phallic symbol, its presence basically decreased the strength of the superego
image. Where the church failed, the tower was able to withstand gravitation and led him closer to
salvation – or so he thought.
The 3rd constituent of the personality is the self-importance. The self-importance is the portion that
regulates between the demands of the Idaho and the bounds of the superego ( Berger 39 ) . The
drama uses books to stand for the self-importance. Because books contain both morality and gender,
they allow a reader to populate vicariously without covering with the reverberations of either.
While the self-importance might hold redeemed Solness and Hilda, both refused to read the books.
Hilda says, ? I can? t connect with them anymore. ? And Solness agrees and provinces, ? it? s
precisely the same for me? ( Ibsen 1260 ) . Indeed, the Idaho has gained plenty strength to
kill both the self-importance and the superego. The characters are rather doomed to accept the
effects of their actions.
Noteworthy the effects which basically characterize the drama? s decision are
besides really stereo-typical images of sex within Freudian doctrine. It is rather clear that a
figure of objects are used to denote the genitalias symbolically in the concluding act. The
mounting of stairss is most normally used to typify sexual intercourse. Therefore,
Solness surmounts his deathly fright of mounting as he begins the acclivity to the top of the
tower ( another antecedently discussed phallic symbol ) . While Mrs. Solness is afraid for
her hubby and wants he would turn around and fall, Hilda decidedly
encourages him to go on upward stating, ? He? s mounting and mounting. Always
higher. Always higher? ( Ibsen 2650 ) !
And yet, the symbolism does non stop at that place; Solness? decease is a portraiture of his
failure to execute sexually. His inability to mount without falling typify his ability
to obtain either satisfaction of salvation through sex. Alternatively, he plummets to his
decease and Hilda is left gazing at the tower of possibilities. Without Solness, there could
be no palace and her superego is refused fulfilment.
It is besides really necessary to observe the impact Freud? s symbols have on childs
characters every bit good as the major 1s. Kaja is the one character with steady control over
her ain individuality. She is unafraid in her gender; this can be portrayed by her profession
as bookkeeper. Harmonizing to Freud, ? arms and tools by and large stand for male
genital organs, while stuffs ( things worked upon ) base for female genital organ? ( Sulloway
338 ) . Although Kaja uses a pencil ( male ) , she is a keeper of books ( female ) , and as a
consequence, has created a really even balance for her gender. Unfortunately, even she can non
defy the strength of the superego which is represented by old Solness.
Through a careful scrutiny of the symbols used in Henrik Ibsen? s The Maestro
Builder, a really successful Freudian analysis of the drama and its word pictures can be
revealed. Indeed, it becomes clear that the characters are driven by forces – sexual forces
– quite out of their control, and it is the forces which finally destroy Solness? life and
Hilda? s opportunity for satisfaction.