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"A door can be heard from below, slamming loudly into the lock." - These are the final stage directions in Henrik Ibsen's play. Nora has left. The ending of the story about the Helmer family is well known and has been part of the theatrical canon since its scandalous premiere.
At the beginning, the Helmer family leads a seemingly happy life - a large apartment, great children and lawyer Torvald Helmer has just been promoted to bank director. But behind the façade lies a secret: Nora forged a signature on a promissory bill in the early years of their marriage in order to help her financially strapped husband. When he finds out about the debt after a series of intrigues involving the creditor Nils Krogstad and Nora's childhood friend Kristine Linde, he reacts with wild insults and accusations. And yet he insists on maintaining the façade of marriage and thus his status.
Nora, on the other hand, comes to the realization that she is merely a decorative accessory in her husband's life plan. In eight long years of marriage, the argument about the promissory bill and its consequences was the first time they had discussed serious matters. For eight years, her husband treated her like a doll and played with her. Nora cannot be an independent person in this doll's home. She leaves her husband and children.
Ibsen wrote the play in 1879 - at a time when such a self-determined decision by a woman broke with bourgeois conventions and patriarchal power structures. The pressure to conform to norms and at the same time lead an individually fulfilling life is still with us today. But does a society almost 150 years later really react differently to a radical decision like the one Nora makes?
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)