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A Doll's House
by Henrik Ibsen, Trans. By William Archer
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Midwest Book Review
Rudalls new translation returns a notable play to a new audience...an excellent version emerges from the shadows of greatness.
That is like a woman! But seriously, Nora, you know what I think about that. No debt, no borrowing. There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. We two have kept bravely on the straight road so far, and we will go on the same way for the short time longer that there need be any struggle.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Norwegian
Nora Helmer, the naive and pretty wife of Torvald, has no opinions or talents of her own in male-dominated 19th-Century Norwegian society. Their life is comfortable and respectable, and their ideals are conventional. But when Torvald was ill, Nora borrowed money from her father's bank with a forged signature and did not tell her husband. She is desperately trying to pay back the funds now that Torvald is well and due for a profitable career appointment. When he discovers the existence of the loan, he is shocked and angry and tells her he can no longer trust her. His attempts to control her by demanding complete obedience in opposition to her compassionate feelings and behavior forces Nora to see that her entire marriage was used for Torvald's gratification. She has no right to think for herself or make worthwhile decisions on her own. He believes there is no place of authority for her if she cannot fit easily into an unexplored life of domestic satisfaction. Even though Ibsen wrote this a hundred years ago, his assessment of women's economic and emotional dependence in marriage is intensely accurate.
From the Publisher
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About the Author
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828. His plays include Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll's House (1879), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), Hedda Gabler (1890), and The Master Builder (1892). He died in 1906.
Frank McGuinness was born in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, and now lives in Dublin, where he teaches at University College. His plays include: The Factory Girls (1984), Baglady (1985), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (1985), Innocence (1986), Carthaginians (1988), Mary and Lizzie (1989), The Bread Man (1991), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (1992), The Bird Sanctuary (1994), and Mutabilitie (1997). His translations include Ibsen's Rosmersholm (1987), Peer Gynt (1988), and Hedda Gabler (1994); Chekhov's Three Sisters (1990), Uncle Vanya (1995); Lorca's Yerma (1987); Brecht's The Threepenny Opera (1991); and Ostrovsky's The Storm (1998).
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