by Henrik Ibsen
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The round table in the living room becomes a field of slaughter littered with evidence of all the battles in the play. It holds the books that symbolize Mrs. Alving's new ideas, the Orphanage papers that represent the enormous lie of Captain Alving, and the champagne that Oswald requests (a symbol of the joy of life). It is also the resting place of the lamp, the artificial light Mrs. Alving gives Oswald when he complains of the dark. What Oswald really needs is the sun (i.e., the truth). He gets it. This happens just as he slips into delirium and Mrs. Alving turns off the lamp.