To Leave, or not to Leave: That Is the Problem in A Doll’s House and Candida

Naghmeh Varghaiyan


This paper explores representation of Woman Question in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and George Bernard Shaw’s Candida. The paper argues that unlike many studies that have read Candida and Nora as two disparate characters, they can be considered as the same New Woman represented only from different perspectives. In the previous studies, Candida is usually labelled a philistine who chooses to stay at home in order to defend blindly the convention of marriage bond while Nora is commonly called a rebel who chooses to abandon the conventional matrimonial life in order to find her true identity. This study, nonetheless, holds that both female characters’ ensuing decisions, although in different forms, similarly make their husbands reflect deeply on their situation in a way that in general the relation between them changes considerably afterwards. The female characters’ socio-familial states, nevertheless, may not change considerably in the near future. Thus, the textual analysis in the present study reveals that there is no basis for establishing a dualism when discussing Candida and Nora, the former standing for conspiracy against her own gender while the latter being a symbol of female redemption. Instead, it could be argued that their seemingly different final decisions are different solutions to one problem without implying a certificate of authenticity at the end. 

Keywords: Problem Play, Woman Question, New Woman, Nora, Candida 

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