The world is filled with strong, independent women who struggle everyday for equality. Unfortunately, even today, many countries still view women as second class citizens.
Women, and their lives, play a major part in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House where men dominate in society. Nora and Mrs. Linde are two women who struggle in their lives as they sacrifice themselves for the pleasure of others.
In the beginning of the play, Henrik Ibsen presents to us a view of women in the 19th century. Long before women had a right to vote, or even own property, they were subservient to their husbands or fathers. For example, Nora., always wanting to please her husband, accepts him comparing her with a little animal and even seems to identify with this image. Nora appears completely submitted to her husband, ready to accept whatever he would say or do.
There are many hints to Nora’s awareness to a women’s struggle and recognition for their strength, and intelligence. Nora speaks of the unnoticed sacrifices thousands of women make on a daily basis for others. As it is for most women who are starting over Nora, has no carefully thought out life direction. Nora is acting out of respect for herself. She realizes the only way she will ever be happy is by finding out who she really is. She wants to experience a life outside of a doll house.
Nora's passionate sense of herself, her absolute refusal to live a life where she is not in control of her actions. There is about her actions something grand, defiant, and totally free, values all the more precious given the infected society she is rejecting. The sight of
such a person acting in such a way can scare us, for such action calls into question all the compromises we make in our lives to remain within our own doll houses. Such a vision of freedom challenges our sense of what we have done and are doing with our lives. Those contemporaries who were outraged at the ending of the play were being honest enough about their own feelings. If we are less upset, that may be because we have consoling ways to reassure ourselves, to neutralize the full effect of what she is doing.
But to me, Mrs. Linde possessed the most strength as a woman. Mrs. Linde lived a tough life after her husband died.. Single, without money or a job and was able to pull herself up and start over. She possessed self confidence and independence that allowed her to achieve a sensible balance in life.