Feminism in A Doll House: A 19th Century Womans Struggles.
A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen is regarded as a feminist text despite Ibsens statements to the contrary. The play is about a woman claiming her independence after realizing the truths about herself and her marriage. At the end of the play, when Torvald doesnt protect her like she thought he would, Nora realizes that she doesnt even know who Torvald is, let alone who she is. During this play there are many instances where Nora is trying to assert herself. There are also many instances of the other characters, especially Kristine and Helmer, trying to stifle her, to quiet her. These instances reflect Ibsens theme that in this play, a woman is faced with many choices. She must choose between obligations to herself or her obligations to her family and society. .
Throughout the play there are many examples of Nora attempting to speak out and make a decision on her own when confronted with others impressions of her. The most important instance actually happens before the play opens. Years ago her husband had became ill and needed to travel south to recover. So without his knowledge, Nora took it upon herself to borrow the money (by forgery), and in turn, Torvald was cured. This is the action that brought about her realization at the end. It is also very important to look at her differing attitudes towards it at the beginning than at the end. In the beginning she treats it as a fun little secret, when speaking to Mrs. Linde she says, Whoever said I borrowed the money? I could have gotten it other ways. I could have gotten it from some admirer or other. After all, a girl with my ravishing appeal- (1575-1576). This contrasts with her attitude at the end of the play when she seems to understand that this little loan has turned into something much bigger than she or Helmer. She says the Kristine, Im much myself; my mind right now is perfectly clear; and Im telling you: nobody else has known about this; I alone did everything.