It ended with an important event, but a relatively calm XIX century. As if in anticipation of impending historical hurricanes, humanity was experiencing social tragedies and moral and ethical upheavals. Already nothing could save society from inevitable changes, but a person had to resist, not lose self-esteem, not bend under everyday turmoil. But in general, is protection against fate possible, which is already on the threshold and knocking on the door?
The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen began to think about this and other issues. This man was destined to be the last representative of the old theater system. Spectators of Ibsenian dramas saw in them the emergence of a new, modern drama, which brought success to their author. For example, in Russia, at the turn of the outgoing and future centuries, Ibsen was a very popular playwright. At the Moscow Art Theater, the troupe of Vera Komissarzhevskaya staged a number of his dramas.
The Doll House posed difficult questions to readers and the public. The playwright himself was a man of a harsh but generous nature, and he was always attracted to open, decent
love people who know how to sacrifice not only their well-being, but also themselves. Ibsen was the first to lift the veil over relationships in a single family. This had to be done in order to understand the mechanism of marital and family happiness. According to Ibsen, the fate of society depends on this.
The main character of the “Doll House” Nora sees the meaning of life in love for loved ones, namely her husband and children. She sincerely believes that peace and love reign in her family, since she and her husband truly love each other. But Nora has a deep secret: eight years ago, she forged the signature of her deceased father in order to be able to borrow money from the local businessman Krogstad. Nora did this in order to pay for the treatment of her seriously ill husband.
She said nothing in the family. In the morning, the debt was paid, and Nora was glad that her secret was a strong evidence of faithful love. But the trouble has already come. Krogstad – a man of not very high moral qualities – begins to blackmail Nora. He dreams by blackmail to occupy a high post in the bank of Torvald – Nora’s husband.
Krogstad’s letter to Torvald not only reveals a long-standing secret, but also determines who is who. Having learned about the Norean duty, the husband begins to worry, because at that time any respectable family could become the subject of gossip, gossip and scandals. In addition, Torvald is fighting for his place in the bank. He already speaks to his wife as a real criminal. “Oh, what a terrible awakening! All these eight years … she, my joy, my pride … was hypocritical, lying … Oh, what a bottomless abyss of dirt, pretense!” Thorvald is keen to maintain external decency.
The wife, as it were, ceases to exist for him. Torvald is even going to remove Nora from raising children. The situation is resolved quite simply: realizing that he had acted completely dishonorably, Krogstad renounces his claims, saying that nothing threatens Nora and Torvald. Torvald is happy, but Nora is no longer the same. The woman realized that, wishing family happiness, she went on this crime, and as a result she lost her self-esteem. In the hands of her husband, she became a favorite toy.
A house built on lies and deceit cannot be a real house: like a toy house, it is destroyed after the first onset of an evil fate. Nora is about to leave home. To the question of the worried Thorwald whether she will return, a decisive answer sounds: “For this, a miracle of miracles must happen in order for life together to truly become a marriage.” Torvald is trying to hold on to Nora, reminding her of the so-called “duty to her husband and children.”
In response, he hears what he did not expect to hear at all: Nora replies that she is not only the mother of the family, but “first of all, a person, the same as you – or, at least, should become a person.” With his drama “The Doll’s House”, Henryk Ibsen revealed a deep discrepancy between the decent appearance and inner depravity of the depicted reality, expressed protest against the entire system of public institutions, demanding the maximum emancipation of women.