Hedda Gabler Character Analysis

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‘Hedda Gabler’ is a play written by Norwegian writer Henrik Isben. Ibsen was born on March the 20th 1828 in Norway to a merchant father and a painter mother. After working as a pharmacist and then rejecting the idea of studying in University, Ibsen turned to writing. His first few pieces did not do too well, but a lot of his later plays were a huge success, in particular ‘A Doll’s House’ (1879) and of course, ‘Hedda Gabler’ (1890). Hedda Gabler is the story about a woman named Hedda who is ultimately trapped in a loveless and meaningful marriage. However, she is a character who the audience would lack any kind of empathy with. She was a very manipulative and sinister woman, who found pleasure in hurting other people and attempting to ruin…show more content…
Lower class women were made to either work in factories or to live the domestic life – so they played the expressive role in their homes. The men did not have anything to do with domestic work; their job was to play the instrumental role: so they went out and worked to earn for their family. Upper class women however had a different lifestyle. They didn’t really play any specific role in their household, if anything their main job was to socialise. Their lives were not as ‘exciting’ as women in the lower class. Even when it came to raising and looking after their children, the women had maids and nannies to do that! Living as a lower class woman was far more hands on. If you look at Hedda, she had a very cushy life. She definitely represents the upper class in every way. Her wealth was inherited from her aristocrat father, so she had never really struggled financially. The main reason she married Tesman was for financial security, and she took advantage of his wealth; whatever she would ask for he would get it for her instantly. An example of this is the conversation between Hedda and Tesman near the beginning of the play (1890 p22). Hedda hints to Tesman about getting a new piano, and when Tesman suggests that they should exchange it, Hedda replies with “No, no--no exchanging. I don 't want to part with it. Suppose we put it there in the inner room, and then get another here in its…show more content…
If you look at her marriage for example, you can see that it evidently wasn’t a love marriage but more of a business deal. Even though her husband treated her well, the love was completely lacking between the two and they shared no common ground. This is no excuse for her actions, but she might have been deeply unhappy. Her uptight, arrogant and snobby persona could have been a mask to cover up her inner feelings. Maybe she didn’t want to come across as weak; she wanted to show people that she was in total control of her own life and she didn’t care about love. When you see how jealous she gets when she sees that Lövborg is happy with his life you feel that she almost craved happiness and joy. Her marriage was lifeless, and she had no real excitement in life: she was a very bored woman at the end of the day. I don’t think that these reasons are strong enough to excuse Hedda’s behaviour however; you should never take pride in destroying other people’s
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