In an ideal world, we would each have the freedom to explore our passions, to figure out the kind of person we really are, and then strive to become that person. This basic principle, containing hints of the American ideal of the pursuit of happiness, might have been the foundation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House
, a play written more than 100 years ago, but its continuing relevance to contemporary society remains stronger than ever.
The titular "woman" in Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs
, is even named after the play's iconic heroine, Nora. Our contemporary Nora (Eldridge) is not married however and, at forty-one, is an angry, bitter woman reflecting on her years as an elementary teacher at Appleton Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
As a child, Nora dreamed of becoming an artist, not a teacher. Nora's...
Beyond the Book
It was the door slam that reverberated around the world. In 1879, Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, published the famous play A Doll's House
. The play, in three acts, revolves around Nora Elman, who balances a delicate secret while trying to save her marriage. Eventually the secret is revealed as is the nastiness of her husband. Sick of the constraints set forth in a traditional marriage a doll's house construct Nora decides she must leave to find, and eventually become, the person she truly is. This door slam that marks her departure might have been literal, but it has been...