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children and kin. Now and then a womanlike shaking off of cares. Then a sudden
return of apprehension and dread. She must bear it all alone. The catastrophe
approaches, inexorably, inevitably. Despair, struggle, and disaster. In reading Ibsen’s
statement of the conflict he meant to portray between the male and female conscience,
one cannot but feel that he somewhat shirked the issue in making Nora’s crime a
formal rather than a real one. She had no intention of defrauding Krogstad; and though
it is an interesting point of casuistry to determine whether, under the stated
circumstances, she had a moral right to sign her father’s name, opinion on the point
would scarcely be divided along the line of sex.

One feels that, in order to illustrate the “two kinds of conscience,” Ibsen ought to have
made his play turn upon some point of conduct (if such there be) which would sharply
divide masculine from feminine sympathies. The fact that such a point would be
extremely hard to find seems to cast doubt on the ultimate validity of the thesis. If, for
instance, Nora had deliberately stolen the money from Krogstad, with no intention of
repaying it, that would certainly have revealed a great gulf between her morality and
Helmer’s; but would any considerable number of her sex have sympathised with her? I
am not denying a marked difference between the average man and the average woman
in the development of such characteristics as the sense of justice; but I doubt whether,
when women have their full share in legislation, the laws relating to forgery will be
seriously altered.

A parallel-text edition of the provisional and the final forms of A Doll’s House would
be intensely interesting. For the present, I can note only a few of the most salient
differences between the two versions.

Helmer is at first called “Stenborg”; 3 it is not till the scene with Krogstad in the second
act that the name Helmer makes its first appearance. Ibsen was constantly changing his
characters’ names in the course of composition-trying them on, as it were, until he
found one that was a perfect fit. The first scene, down to the entrance of Mrs. Linden,
though it contains all that is necessary for the mere development of the plot, runs to
only twenty-three speeches, as compared with eighty-one in the completed text. The
business of the macaroons is not even indicated; there is none of the charming talk
about the Christmas-tree and the children’s presents; no request on Nora’s part that her
present may take the form of money, no indication on Helmer’s part that he regards her
supposed extravagance as an inheritance from her father. Helmer knows that 3 This
name seems to have haunted Ibsen. It was also the original name of Stensgard in The
League of Youth.
she toils at copying far into the night in order to earn a few crowns, though of course he
has no suspicion as to how she employs the money. Ibsen evidently felt it inconsistent
with his character that he should permit this, so in the completed version we learn that
Nora, in order to do her copying, locked herself in under the pretext of making
decorations for the Christmas-tree, and, when no result appeared, declared that the cat
had destroyed her handiwork. The first version, in short, is like a stained glass window
seen from without, the second like the same window seen from within.

The long scene between Nora and Mrs. Linden is more fully worked out, though many
small touches of character are lacking, such as Nora’s remark that some day “when
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