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It is about the transgression of the accepted morality. There is also a reaction against conventional ethics. A spacious garden room is shown where Jacob Engstrand, the carpenter is standing by the garden-door. Regina hinders him from advancing. Engstrand is dripping as it was raining. The asylum is to be opened the next day. Engstrand expects that there will be intoxicating drinks He says that PasterMandersis expected from town.
Engstrand wants to set off home that night. He wants to take Regina with him. Regina tells him that she has beenbrought up by a lady like Mrs. Alving who treats her like a daughter. Regina tells him that she was no child of him. Engstrand replies that it was when he was a bit on.
Johanna, his wife and Regina's mother had been three years in Chamberlain Alvin's family at Rosenvold. She is no more now.
Engstrand wants Regina in the town to start a new line of business. He wants to put the money he earned from the orphanage job into some paying speculation, like starting a sort of sailor's tavern for captains and mates. But Regina prefers to look after the children in the new orphanage of her mistress. Regina does'nt want to marry sailors. Engstrand tells her that the Englishmen will give her a handsome amount. "Out you go!" she cries.
Paster Manders enters. Engstrand goes out through the second door to the right which Regina has opened. Paster Manders reaches there by a steamer. Regina goes out with his wet umbrella and overcoat to dry them up.
Mrs. Alving is at home with her son Oswald Alving. He arrived the day before yesterday from Paris. He is a painter. Manders tells Regina that Engstrand, her father, is not a man of strong character. So he wants someone near him. Regina tells him that Mrs. Alving cannot spare her.
Regina goes to call her mistress. Mrs. Helen Alving enters followed by Regina. Mrs. Alving asks Manders topass the night under her roof. Manders wants to stay in an inn. She tells Manders that Oswald has promised to stay with her during the winter, after the lapse of two years. Paster Manders dislikes the booksbeing read by Mrs.Alving. Manders has brought the formal deed of gift of the parcel ofground known as Solvik in the Manor of Rosenvold. The children Home will be known as "Captain Alving's Foundation" Manders says that the capital for current expenses will be left in the bank with an interest of four per cent. Hedoesnot want the orphanage insured. Mrs. Alving says that a heap of shavings had caught fire due to the carelessness of Engstrand. Manders tells her that he is a capital workman when he is sober. Mrs. Alving does not want Regina to be with Engstrnd as she is going to have a position in the orphanage.
Oswald Alving enters. He had been a Prodigal Son who, according to Oswald himself, has become the Reclaimed Son. He has comehome for theceremony in his father's honour. It is the tenth anniversry of Captain Alving's death. Oswald is now twenty six. He does'nt know what home life is. Manders says that few of the young artists could afford to set up houses and support family. Oswald replied that several of them have homes, children and mothers. Oswald tells him that he hasbeen a constant Sunday-guest in one or two irregular homes.
The memorial in Captain Alving's honour will be unveiled tomorrow. Mrs. Alving tells that her husband was guilty of excesses. Manders tells her that a wife is not to be her husband's judge, and she has disowned a wife's duty as well as a mother's duty. He tells her that she has been all her life under the dominion of a pestilent spirit of self-will.
Mrs Alving tells Manders that his judgment is founded upon nothing but current gossip. Captain Alving had his way with the house maid Johanna and she bore it for her little boy's sake. She had to send her son Oswald from home when he was in his seventh year not to allow to know about this. The asylum in his memory was to deaden all rumours and banish doubt. She doesnot want