Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and morality

In modernity, the universal validity of the law comes into question. The law is no longer simply God’s law or the monarch’s law or a reflection of Nature; the law is contingent, and it is not the same thing as justice. The law, like religion, is also only one function system among several. Justice is an idea, concept, aspiration, or topic of conversation, but the law is what society actually uses to stabilize normative expectations. Ibsen and Chekhov shared an interest in the question of morality–specifically, how a morality based on social hierarchy, or stratification, cannot survive in a functionally differentiated society.