What stands in the way of Norah's happiness, in Reta's mind?

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Oppression of women stands in the way of Norah's happiness. Reta writes countless letters to male authors, critiques, and editors in today's current society, that have still made no effort to give equal rights to women. Norah realizes that there are so many things in the world that she will never see, or be able to do, and she doesn't see the point in continuing on in her comfortable life, if there will be no rewards in the end; society has taught her to believe that these opportunities are too large for a woman to take advantage of. Reta believes that Norah can't find happiness until Norah finds her own path in the world; a path that can be equally dominated by men and women alike.