In looking at the play ‘A Doll’s House’ it is evident that Nora is not proactive in any way. Furthermore, Nora does not represent strength in any particular way. Initially when we are introduced to Nora in the play she is depicted as a happy woman but as the play proceeds we realize that she is actually very sad.
First of all through Helmer, we realize that Nora is irresponsible financially as she likes to spend money carelessly. From their conversation with Helmer we realize that she strains her husband financially. Helmer tells her that, “there can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt.” (Ibsen 8) From their conversation we also realize that she is not a proactive woman and that she waits for things to happen before she takes action. We realize that during the time that her husband was ill she waited for the illness to become worse before she decided to borrow money for a vacation. Even the decision to borrow money as we realize later was a bad strategy. This is because she entered into a debt that she knew not of how to pay back, she was not careful enough to read the contents of the agreement and it is for this reason that Krogstad is blackmailing her. In the play we also realize that she is a very resourceful woman due to the fact that she was able to engage in various income generating activities and cutting back on expenses just to pay back the money she loaned. We realize this when she says that: “…odds and ends, needlework, crotchet- work, embroidery, and that kind of thing” (Ibsen 16) Although she had the opportutnity to contribute towards the finances of the family she did not do so until it became clear that she was desperate. From the play, Nora is also depicted s being dishonest. She had all the time to inform Helmer of her mistake but she chose to keep quite until it was too late.
Nora has all the opportunities and capacity to express her feminism but she does not take advantage of the opportunities. Feminism is all about taking advantage of the opportunities available for a woman and using the opportunities towards further development. (Moller 87) She has an understanding husband who has just been promised a well paying job and all she can do is start spending beyond their financial capacity. Before the realization of the debt she had, she would have been given credit for saving money by not buying dresses. However, the only reason she did that was for to be able to pay Krogstad. Feminism is also about a woman believing in herself. We realize that Nora does not believe in herself when she wishes that some rich man who had fallen in love with her could have included her in the will. She says that, “…sit here and imagine that a rich old gentleman had fallen in love with me.” (Ibsen 26) Nora fails to use her body to depict feminism in the play. There is the realization that a woman should display her body in a way that it evokes respect from other people. She fails to confront Krogstad and refuse his manipulations. She should have used her feminism to strongly refuse the influence that Krogstad was placing upon her. (Talpade 238) Instead she goes on and agrees to become the accomplice of Krogstad in seeking to retain Krogstad’s position. She should have refused and apologized to her husband and perhaps they would have helped each other in paying for the debt.