Comparing A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen and Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen

1659 Words7 Pages
The feminist Lois Wyse once stated, “Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.” Women should express remorse for their strengths, when men should feel guilt when exposing their weaknesses. Wyse believed that women should have been able to show their strengths in their oppressive societies instead of covering them up. The 19th century setting in the two plays, A Doll House and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, caused much grief in both Nora and Hedda. They both lived in Europe during the 1800’s where males dominated the way society ran. Ibsen created an environment for women to question the society they lived in. Nora and Hedda, two feminists living in a masculine household bereft of happiness, desired to evade their unhappy life at home under the guidance of a man. Eventually, both women escaped from their husband’s grasps, but Hedda resorted to suicide in order to leave. Nora agreed with Lois Wyse by showing her strengths with pride to everybody, while Hedda hid her strengths like a coward by killing herself. Ibsen used numerous literary elements and techniques to enhance his writing and to help characterize the two protagonists. Nora, characterized as a benevolent and strong person, left her husband to explore the beliefs in society and to interpret ideas herself. Unlike Nora, the belligerent, selfish Hedda destroyed the lives of people around her just to take her own life in the end. Even though it appeared that Nora abandoned all responsibility for her children and hid an insidious secret from her husband, Nora showed greater fortitude than Hedda in the way she faced the obstacles of her life.

Although it appeared that Nora abandoned her family, society restrictions provided her no other opti...

... middle of paper ...

...endous amount of courage throughout the play.

Nora showed greater fortitude than Hedda in the way she faced the obstacles of her life even though it appeared that Nora abandoned all responsibility for her children and hid an insidious secret from her husband. It took great courage to overcome obstacles as Nora did. Unlike Nora, Hedda would weasel her way through situations as a craven and she always took the easy way out. Nora faced her obstacles with determination, so she ended up living the life that she desired where as Hedda’s cowardice engulfed her and caused her to commit suicide; therefore, ending her life full of potential happiness and independence. Ultimately, the reader views Nora as the more fortitudinous protagonist compared to Hedda because Nora faced her obstacles with courage instead of with cowardice like Hedda.

Works Cited

A tale of two cities

More about Comparing A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen and Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen

Open Document