Discuss women's rights and feminist equality in A Doll's House.

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bsauerbrey eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nora comes to realize that her identity has been shaped by the worldviews of, first, her father and, later, by Helmer. She has no real sense of who she is outside of the male world; within that world she is a daughter, wife, or mother--roles, not a person.  Her culture, including religion, has given her a frame of understanding not grounded in her own experience as a person but from her biology as a woman.  She must walk out of the frame, out of the 'doll house,' and risk life on her own terms.

A person has integrity and the freedom to shape identity; Nora has neither as long as she remains within the conceptual frame supplied by those also indoctrinated by the cultural assumptions of the patriarchy.  As Michel Foucault describes, those who have power create the categories of understanding--even though those who enforce the cultural identities are victims themselves of the same structures.

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A Doll's House

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