What do the problems faced by Nora and Mrs. Linde in A Doll's House say about the situation of women in 19th century Norway?
In first two acts of "A Doll House" ,we learn that Nora,Mrs Linde and Anne-Marie all face-or have faced- a variety of difficulties.
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The situation of women in Norway at this time allows for women to work outside of the home, yet a stereotype persists which describes Nora to the "outside world" and which effectively cages her, stunting her personal development.
Mrs. Linde has lost her husband and has had to fend for herself. Though she begins the play in need of help finding work, she has successfully supported herself up to this point. Her story suggests that not all women are like Nora. Not all women of this society are frivolous housewives, as Nora is thought to be, but some are competent, assertive people faring well in the workplace.
Nora's conflict in the story, ultimately, comes to be defined by her opposition to the stereotype that has been applied to (or inflicted upon) her. She feels that she has been undermined in her development and stripped of the right and ability to hold opinions of her own.
Her competency is questioned at every turn and she is seen as an object, for Torvald, and as a weak minded emotional being, by Krogstad. Neither of these views are flattering or respectful and neither happens to be accurate. Yet, overcoming these perspectives requires a major action from Nora.
For Nora to emerge as an individual she must reject the life that society mandates.
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