A Doll’s House is written by Harold Ibsen is a play about several issues in society coming to light at the time. Like many of the stories, poems, and plays that we read, A Doll’s House addresses gender roles and the sacrificial roles that women in society were placed under by the opposite gender.
The play contrasts two female characters, Nora who is cared for constantly, and Mrs. Linde, a woman who had taken care of herself from a young age and has experienced the world. In Nora’s case, she feels like she is in a cage and that her husband Torvald has put her there because of the way he treats her. He speaks to her as if she were a child because he does not believe or want to believe that she is anything more. Torvald provides for her and she is living a comfortable life.
Mrs. Linde on the other hand has had to provide for herself and has struggled to survive in the world, a society that at the time was biased towards men. Even through her disadvantages she managed to get a job through Torvald and Nora but is still unhappy because she wants someone to care for her or someone to care for.
The contrast between the two women is that Nora has everything that she needs and is cared for but is discontent because she wants to be treated like an adult but has not experienced the world and can never be seen as anything more than a child. Mrs. Linde has experienced the world and has struggled to survive in a male dominated society but is now viewed as an adult. She feels discontent because she wants to be cared for and to care for someone. She wants to have a family.
The two women are clear opposites except for that Torvald is unaware that Nora has made a big step toward becoming an adult. When Torvald was on his deathbed years earlier, Nora took responsibility and took out a loan to save his life and had been secretly paying it off since. Torvald’s condescension to Nora also leads her to believe that she is unfit to be a mother if she is just a child herself.
In an unfortunate turn of events Torvald discovers that Nora has been lying to him and blows up at her. When the problem is averted Torvald tries his best to console Nora but she has made up her mind that she would leave him and the children for all their sakes.
In the end of the play the two women’s roles are reversed. Nora has left home to discover the world and to learn how to provide for herself. She is free to become an adult and whatever she wants. Mrs. Linde is in a relationship with Krogstad and can provide for him with her new job , can love him and start a family. A Doll’s house gives an interesting perspective on the two women’s roles and how both experience life differently.