Throughout the play, Hedda exhibits a general dissatisfaction with life. By marrying a man whom she finds almost unbearably dull, Hedda resigns herself to a life of excruciating boredom. Her status as a general’s daughter had perhaps afforded her certain opportunities in her earl...
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...sadist. Hedda’s behavior toward Loevborg, who did nothing to deserve Hedda’s fatal influence, easily classifies as monstrous. Moreover, her vindictiveness toward Tesman, Thea, and even Miss Juliana as well as her harsh treatment of Bertha all serve to create a persona easily dismissed as wholly evil. Nevertheless, despite her trespasses against those around her, one must also consider the overwhelming powerlessness Hedda endured. Regardless of her gifts of keen perception and deft social maneuvering, the general’s daughter could hope to do little better for herself than marry an uninteresting scholar and embrace the role of motherhood whether she desired to be a mother or not. Lastly, the fact that the only moment of Hedda’s life in which she felt genuinely in control of her own destiny also sadly marked her final moment warrants at least some measure of compassion.
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