Today, a reader might find it hard to imagine how daring Nora Helmer was a hundred years ago. The theme of women's liberation makes this story seem almost contemporary. "A Doll's House- displayed a controversial topic, featuring a woman seeking individuality. It was written well ahead of its time when it, was considered an outrage for a woman such as Nora to display a mind of her own. It was unthinkable that a woman could leave her husband to obtain freedom. Henrik Ibsen shows us the story of a woman recapturing her strength and self-confidence. Nora begins a very hard and difficult search for her self esteem and self worth - one that she has never experienced before - through relationships with her husband and her friends. "A Doll's House- is a play about the need for a woman to feel freedom- freedom from her husband's control, from her role in society, her role as a mother figure; the problems presented still appear in today's society.
One of "A Doll's House's- central themes is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. The one character that best fits this description is Nora Helmer. Nora is an extremely fascinating character in this play. She goes through many changes and develops more than any other character. Throughout the play, she has grown from a wife, dependent on her husband, to an independent woman who is out on a mission to educate herself and make a living for herself. During the beginning of the play, she is a grown woman that has been pampered all her life by men, including her father and her husband. She describes that she feels like a doll, always dressing up and performing dances for everybody, "I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald [ ] But our house has been nothing but a play room. Here I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I used to be papa's doll-child [.