Industrialization in Norway resulted in the formation of the middle class and a shift to a consumer culture. Women no longer had as many household responsibilities and were eventually left only with producing children. (Norwegian Natl. Commission 3) Henrik Ibsensen’s A Doll’s House accurately portrays a woman living a middle class life in Norway ca . 1879. The main character, Nora Helmer, lives a monotonous life in which she is treated like a child , eventually she realizes that she has the right to be an independent person and leaves her husband and family. As a result of their reduced roles, women all over Norway were treated very much like Nora. In fact, the play was considered controversial as Norwegians could not even imagine that a middle class woman could be an independent person. (Ibsen, 851)
However, not all women are doomed to the sad lives of Nora. Ultimately, the lower class that was looked down upon by women like Nora was their salvation from their “doll houses”. Many middle class women had to go to work to supplement their husband’s incomes. This made them more involved in decision-making within the family and put women out in the world. (Norwegian Natl. Commission 14)
Women’s participation in the work force increased until it peaked in 1890. From then on... [continues]
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