Mrs. Warren’s Profession contrasts significantly with A Doll House, in a number of ways that I would therefore call it a response to Ibsen. In Ibsen’s A Doll House, even though at the end Nora breaks away from her doll state of being that perfect wife, mother, and daughter, it is still a play about what was expected in society and how up until that point in the end, Nora was the weak character of the conventional definition of a woman. She acted in response to what she deemed right for her husband etc. But, what made her all the more weak was that she FELT wrong for doing what she did, she perceived it as a crime, and held regret and shame for the lies that would be deemed “unforgiving.” She felt and knew well she was not in that “perfect” mold of a woman.
In Mrs. Warren’s Profession, the “unspeakable” unconventional ways, such as Miss Vivie’s education and independency, as well Mrs. Warren’s openness about her own independency and justification for such actions, are in their very own eyes correct and righteous. They accept their new unconventional woman ways just as they are, with no remorse or regret or knowledge of what else they “should be” or how else they should “behave” as. They are what they say they are and stand for it strongly.
A specific example of the difference in A Doll House Nora’s relationships and Mrs. Warren’s Profession Vivie’s relationships are those between their father and mother, respectively. Nora had to behave a certain way with her father, listen to what he had to say respectfully, and do what he wished for her to do. Nora realized that is not what she liked or wanted all along and yet she never broke away from it because she knew she had no choice and that is how it “should have been” all along. Whereas Vivie acts on those feelings of disapproval towards her mother with no shame or restrain. She does not feel wrong or any less of a daughter for speaking up and saying what she believes. Indeed, these two characters and the rest in these two plays differ profoundly.