What were society's expectations in 1800s? (Ibsen's A Doll House)?

I've been reading in various places that women had no choice but to marry and have children. In this time, men held all the power and women had to be submissive to them. They could not attain jobs because they were closed off to all women. A woman who chose to remain single attracted social disapproval and pity. I have an assignment in which I have to apply Marxist Literary Criticism to Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House. Basically, we are to look at the social and economic struggles of this society. Contrary to what I've seen about women not being able to have jobs, Mrs. Linde is able to get hired by Mr. Helmer. This play was set in 1800s Norway. What kind of expectations did this kind of a society have? Can they be considered parallel to Europe's expectations? Even if you haven't read the play, input is greatly appreciated =)

Asked By: cassiopeian_elf - 12/7/2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Women could have jobs, but not jobs traditionally done by men. Teaching, cooking, sewing, nursing and cleaning were traditional jobs for women. But Ibsen often pushed the envelope a bit, and as a Modernist his plays were considered scandalous at his time.
Answered By: Rankine Zero - 12/7/2010
Additional Answers (1)
Wait! That's not the right answer. Middle class women could only have a job like that if they are widowed! She is asked by Helmer "Of course I assume you are widowed" and that's why
Answered By: IPRZHM - 1/28/2014
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