ConversationA Doll's House: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor. Student: Yes, I decided to go with Henrik Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House". Professor: Good choice. Student: And the ways in which he turns the conventions of the "well-made play" upside down. Professor: Okay. Student: So I thought I'd start by talking about how the term "well-made play" was coined by the French playwright Eugène Scribe, who perfected the genre. Professor: I would probably leave Eugène's Scribe out if it, you don't need to go into the history of the term or all the nitty-gritty details of how the form developed in your paper. Student: So I shouldn't define it? Professor: Well, no. Define it by all means, but don't include every detail. Defining a term, and giving an account of its literary history, and Eugènes Scribe and all that, aren't exactly the same thing. But of course, you have to list the conventions of the "well-made play", how it's the conventional form. Student: Okay, the important ones like that it usually unfolds in the living room, and the audience knows more about what's going on in the story than the characters do? Professor: And don't the forget there's usually an important piece of evidence like a letter or a painting or something that's a key to a great secret or mystery. And then, you should point out how these conventions are used or not used by Ibsen in the Doll's House. Student: Wow, he uses almost all of them doesn't he? The play does take place in a living room and things are very polite and proper as usual, at least on the surface. And Nora does secretly borrow money behind her husbands back. Professor: Sure, and there's an incriminating letter and on and on down the list. He really does pull out all the stops. In fact, this play is almost a textbook example of what a "well-made play" should be. Except ... Student: Except for Deangens, he doesn't setup up things working out in the end like they're supposed in a "well-made play". You know instead of a happy, mute ending, everything falls apart. Leaves lots to question. Professor: Precisely, when Nora dramatically storms out of her home and off the stage at the end of the play, it's as though that play suddenly stops being a well-made play. Student: No, for me, it's almost like you walk south to play it south. Professor: "Oh, she abandons the play. That's interesting. Student: But she doesn't want to be a character in a "well-made play", anymore than she wants to be treated like a doll in a doll house. Professor: I've been reading, you know, you might want to wanna see what other critics have said about his play. Then you should match your interpretation with there's. Student: Yea, I don't think that it's anything that Ebson intended, but that idea keeps first for me. Professor: I'm sorry you know that Bison actually had to rewrite the original ending, the ending that we know of today. To get the play performed in some countries, the idea, the broken marriage, was just too scandalous. Student: I do remember reading that somewhere.