A Doll’s House / Henrik Ibsen


Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a significant literary work that emphasizes the crucial role of economic independence for women. The play revolves around the struggles of Nora, the protagonist, and her friend Mrs. Linde, both of whom face difficult choices due to their societal positions. Mrs. Linde, for instance, is forced to marry for financial reasons, while Nora forges her father’s signature to secure his money to help her husband through depression. In contrast, Anne-Marie, the nanny of Nora’s children, is the only female character who is content and financially independent. She is also the first working woman readers/audience encounter in the play.

When Mr. Helmer approves Mrs. Linde’s employment at the bank, she gains economic independence, which allows her to marry the man she loves, Mr. Krogstad, whom she was unable to marry before due to financial constraints. The play highlights that women who lack financial independence are like dolls, with no control over their lives. However, when they gain financial freedom, they become empowered and are able to shape their own destinies.

The economic independence of women is not only vital for their personal growth and empowerment but is also critical for the development of a country. Research conducted by The Heritage Foundation shows that in free economies, women’s income is almost ten times higher than in repressed economies.[1] This suggests that as women create wealth, they contribute significantly to the prosperity of their countries. Therefore, the economic empowerment of women is not only a matter of justice and equality, but it is also an essential step towards the overall progress of a nation.

[1] Ana I. Eiras, Women and Development: Empowerment Through Economic Freedom, http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/women-and-development-empowerment-through-economic-freedom, April 24, 2016.

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