A Doll's House criticises the traditional roles of men and women in 19th-century marriage. To many 19th-century Europeans, this was scandalous. The Swedish playwright August Strindberg attacked the play in his volume of short stories Getting Married (1884). Nothing was considered more holy than the covenant of marriage, and to portray it in such a way was completely unacceptable; however, a few other critics such as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw found Ibsen's willingness to examine society without prejudice exhilarating. In Germany, the production's lead actress refused to play the part of Nora unless Ibsen changed the ending, which, under pressure, he eventually did. In the alternative ending, Nora gives her husband another chance after he reminds her of her responsibility to their children. This ending proved unpopular and Ibsen later regretted his decision on the matter. Virtually all productions today, however, use the original ending, as do nearly all of the film versions of this play, including Dariush Mehrjui's Sara (the Argentine version, made in 1943 and starring Delia Garcés, does not; it also modernizes the story, setting it in the early 1940s). Because of the radical departure from traditional behavior and theatrical convention involved in Nora's leaving home, her act of slamming the door as she leaves has come to represent the play itself. One critic noted, "That slammed door reverberated across the roof of the world."
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