Find yourself through your own voice and act

To Selma’s cry for an answer, Brack dismisses the idea of woman as artist, and the arguments rage on about the nature of woman and man until Suzannah asks if Selma’s question has been answered. Both Falk and Ibsen tell her that she must follow her drive, whatever it may cost, to fulfill her need. Then, Suzannah speaks her closest thoughts to the women, and Ibsen responds:

OLDER SUZANNAH

Fulfillment…yes. To find yourself through
Your own voice and act: to know the vision
And the purpose and to follow them.
For you the gift is there to use or lose,
[Turning to Rebecca]
For you the power lies in the ego
And the body. [To both] But neither of you yet
Knows the price of compromise, of what is
Given up to find the goal, as I do.
For I have no voice; I live with Ibsen,
An instrument in his orchestra.
You must make your choice to act and not look
Back, but careen down with the avalanche.
Just make sure that purpose you have chosen
Is worth the price that you will surely pay.

OLDER IBSEN

The avalanche takes both men and women.
Women feel and fear men’s power–but men
Themselves, when half asleep, through slitted lids,
See baby-eyed, past glittering sheen, power’s
Fragility, ephemerality,
Then past that card-built tottering edifice,
Past the almost moving, blue sinister
Curtain to where the closet shadows lurk,
Waiting, the unnamable fears that twitch men
To conceal them in the flannel trappings
Of power’s many guises: the brute force
Of frightened, violent, tender ego,
Or the more complex, no less destructive
Force of money, politics, aggrandizement
In all its forms.

And with this, Brack takes his leave. You never know how a soiree can end.

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