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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    A New Life

    Paul Larkin
    Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House has lived a lie in order to fulfil the ideal of the perfect marriage. Mrs Alving in Ghosts has played a long-drawn-out game of humouring her husband’s debauchery while being in love with someone else. On discovering that her son Oswald has inherited syphilis from his father she has to decide whether to administer euthanasia. Could there be any greater destruction of an ideal? Time and again in Ibsen’s plays, society’s binding communal ideals are revealed as impossible to attain: the only answer is to break away and live as a free individual.
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