In what ways does Nora’s character represent the evolution of women from traditional to a modern throughout A Doll’s House?

Nora’s character in A Doll’s House represents women’s evolution of women from traditional to modern by assuming financial responsibility, rejecting dependence on her husband, and rejecting motherhood as a primary identity.

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Throughout Henrik Ibsen’s play, Nora Helmer realizes that she possesses the resources to live independently. Before the action presented in A Doll’s House , Nora had taken many things for granted and underestimated her own capabilities. She is shown as a traditional middle-class Norwegian wife and mother who puts...

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Throughout Henrik Ibsen’s play, Nora Helmer realizes that she possesses the resources to live independently. Before the action presented in A Doll’s House, Nora had taken many things for granted and underestimated her own capabilities. She is shown as a traditional middle-class Norwegian wife and mother who puts the needs of others first. As she reminds her husband, Torvald, late in the play, Nora had gone from seeing her primary identity as one man’s daughter to that of another man’s wife. It is revealed that she rationalized committing fraud because she even placed her husband’s health and well-being above the law. Ironically, it has been the need for money to cover up her crime that forced her to learn how to earn money and take charge of the family’s budget.

By the end of the play, Nora has achieved a solid sense of her own self-worth and learned that her husband is a superficial hypocrite. She neither elevates his needs above hers nor imagines that she cannot function without him. Although her conversations with Mrs. Linde affect her decision to strike out on her own, it is primarily her rejection of the underlying premise of female dependency that strengthens her resolve. Nora’s final decision before walking out the door is to leave the children with Torvald. She not only has developed a concept of female identity as separate from that of mother but also refuses to continue presenting her children with a dishonest mother as a role model.

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