A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen Essay

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“Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” (TED) This is the definition that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African author and feminist, discovered when she looked up the term “feminist” in the dictionary at age fourteen. This is also the definition that she based her speech, “We Should All Be Feminists”, off of. Nora Helmer, the creation of Henrik Ibsen for his play A Doll’s House, is a feminist by this definition. One can be a feminist without knowing it, such as Adichie was at a young age. Nora is one of these people. Nora transitioned from being an obedient, subordinate housewife to a role model for women everywhere. Despite rapid criticisms and controversy about her behavior as a …show more content…
On the opposing side, many respected her for following her instinct that something was wrong in her life. For the purpose of Ibsen’s play, Helmer, her husband, is the human epitome of society. Helmer equated Nora to a child, showing how society equated women to children. Following this model, it can be noted that children leave the house of their caretakers once they have grown up. This is similar to how Nora “grew up” and subsequently left her caretaker. Helmer’s attitude towards Nora as a caretaker was always rather condescending. “There’s some truth in what you’re saying—under all that raving exaggeration.” (Ibsen, 110) The instant Nora tries to be serious and stand up for herself, she is instantly condescended by Helmer, as if being serious is a matter she need not concern herself with. Helmer, playing the role of society as a whole, tries to disregard her attempts to be serious. “Nora, you’re sick; you’ve got a fever. I almost think you’re out of your head.” (Ibsen, 112) When a woman tries to stand up for herself, society goes as far to accuse her of being sick or even insane. This is how uncommon a woman’s self-worth was. Despite the way Nora was received by society, she is still a free-thinking role model.
Nora continuously proved herself to be powerful, independent, and clear-headed. “Helmer: Nora, how ungrateful you are! Haven’t you been happy here? Nora: No, never. I thought so—but I never have.”

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