You were a successful professional and a decent family man. You were a Man, who observed all the social rules and satisfied all the social expectations. But that was all. That evening I realized that you had no inner life, no identity other than your social one. Social rules and others’ opinion meant for you more than people around you. You thought of yourself through the eyes of others and you treated people according to their social roles. Those, who dared to break the rules you minded, who were inappropriate to the position you occupied, were to be isolated as immoral and dangerous. Your conventionality spread over your entire life, and even your attitudes to me. It was so pleasant (and so respectable) to have a young and beautiful wife, who was a triumph at all the parties, contributing to your firm position, and who entirely belonged to you! It aroused your desire, a desire of a lucky hunter. No, you did not love me. I was your trophy, your male toy. I existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. Do you remember what I told you that evening? Our marriage was a long-lasting performance. our home was a doll’s house. I was your doll-wife, and our children were my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. As you put it: The unutterable ugliness of it all! For shame! For shame!
To feel a man you needed to hold me tight. My ‘womanly helplessness’, as you called it, gave me a double attractiveness in your eyes. I played the game you offered me. I had been taught this game since my childhood. And I liked it. It provided me with a well-known comfort. I knew, how painful and humiliating it would be for you, with your ‘manly independence’, to know that you owed me anything, that I was not that weak and brittle you wanted me to see!