Lu Xun "What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?" (1923)

This is a particularly interesting piece due in part to its context. Traditionally in the Qing era women were bound figuratively and literally to the home and domestic life. However in the late 1910s, China saw an incredible wave of revolutionary fervor, particularly among its youth and intelligentsia and part of this wave was a reexamination of the role of women in modern Chinese society.

Norwegian playwrite Henrik Ibsen's The Dollhouse, is a play about a modern woman, Nora, who comes to self-actualization and decides to leave her domestic and subservient life behind. However, the play ends with Nora leaving leaving the audience to naturally wonder "What Happens After Nora Leaves Home?".

This play served as a wonderful metaphor and an evocative conversation starter for the Chinese revolutionary. In this writing/talk, Lu Xun tries to examine the question of what happens next for Nora with a strong focus on the importance of economic independence, a recurring theme amongst the Chinese revolutionaries.

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