Nora seems to equate being a human being with having the opportunity to get to know oneself, to know one's likes and dislikes, to make something of one's life and feel that one has a purpose. She takes issue with Torvald, saying,
You arranged everything according to your taste; and I got the same tastes as you; or I pretended to—I don't know which—both ways, perhaps; sometimes one and sometimes the other . . . I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and father have done me a great wrong. It is your fault that my life has come to nothing.
Nora feels that she has never had a chance to develop and learn her own tastes, that she merely mimicked or acquired her father's and then her husband's; she lived to try to impress first one and then the other, performing and behaving not as she would choose on her own but, rather, as they would have her act and think. She thinks that her life has no meaning and no purpose, and so it is clear that she believes human beings should have the opportunity to find this on their own.
Torvald, however, finds her to be "unreasonable and ungrateful," asking her, "Have you not been happy here?" She responds that she may have been "merry," but she was not truly happy (even though she thought, then, that she was). He does not seem to understand or even acknowledge the weight of Nora's claims; to him, it seems, being "happy" is enough, and it should be enough for her. He considers her "holiest duties" to be her "duties to [her] husband and [her] children," while she believes that she has "other duties equally sacred": her duties toward herself. He says that "Before all else [she is] a wife and a mother"; however, she says,
That I no longer believe. I believe that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are, or at least that I should try to become one . . . I must think things out for myself, and try to get clear about them.
Again, we see that Nora believes each human being deserves a chance to find herself and what she thinks, outside of the influence of others, even that of her husband or father. Torvald, evidently, does not believe that she is entitled to this opportunity; rather, he thinks that she ought to be present for her husband and children and not strive for self-actualization. For female human beings, he implies, such a desire is selfish and unnecessary.