Both Nora’s in these stories go against the social perceptions of what women do or are in male oriented societies. Nora in A Doll’s House shuns her family and home by striking out into the night, an effort to find fulfillment she could not experience in her stifling doll’s-like existence. Nora Quealey, on the other hand, goes out into the world to work in a male-dominated profession and finds she longs to go back home to the role of mother and housewife where she was happy.
In A Doll’s House, Ibsen provides us with the portrait of a Victorian-era housewife, one who is much more like a possession to her husband and father than a human being in her own right. In the society in which Nora lived, a woman could not be herself. Victorian society was an exclusively male society with laws drafted by men, men who judge women from the male point of view. The play is about Nora’s liberation, for she is the “doll” to which the title of the play refers. Her environment is constructed for her to be the showpiece of her husband, but not a woman in her own right. Torvald has his own room that only he uses, but Nora doesn’t have a room. She is kept in the main room “with china objects and various bric-a-brac” (Ibsen 234). This is because she is more a possession than a realized human being. By the last scene, Nora declares she can no longer live in this doll’s house, and she dashes out into the city, into the night as the front door slams behind her.
In Nora Quealey’s story, we find that women in the contemporary work world are often as stifled by male dominance as were women in Nora’s Victorian society. Nora is abused at work by the men who are very sexist toward the women. She is told to “act like a lady” by her father, despite the ungentlemanly activity of the men, or she will never “fit in” (Schroedel 5). The pressures and tensions of the job are so great, Nora sneaks into