Powerful Female Characters in Theater

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Powerful Female Characters in Theater A craving for life and the pursuit of happiness are concepts everyone cherishes in one way or another. Everyone’s goals and ambitions for the future vary from one to the next, yet each person shares a common bond, each hope for their own personal happiness. The search of the truth and the power it produces cause internal conflict during one’s pursuit of this so-called happiness. The search for this is not made without obstacles along the way. One must overcome the tribulations handed to him or her by his or her society. Often women have a more difficult time breaking through the chains that society has cast upon them. In three specific instances, Hedda Gabler from Hedda Gabler, Jessie from ‘Night, Mother, and Sally from Lips Together Teeth Apart are all strong female characters created to display a woman’s search for a way out of the bonds of her society. These powerful women characters do so in similar ways as well as different ways, each according to the plot of her own play. Hedda finds a “way out” after the internal conflict she faces concerning her true freedom in the society that distorted her, Jessie desperately searches for the truth while juggling the two sides of her character, death-seeking and life-affirming, and Sally seems to begin to face, but also unleash, the harsh truth whenever it comes to her, even at the most inopportune times. Although all of these women approach their bondage in different ways, they all seem to accomplish the same thing: a reality check. However, Sally accomplishes more than Hedda and Jessie because she “faces the music” and doesn’t give up in the end by taking the easy way out, as the other two women do. Sally, the mos... ... middle of paper ... ...rybody’s thinking them. I’ve merely decided to say them.” (McNally 80-81). This is one of the most important statements Sally makes because it truly captures her new discovery of herself and her attempt to break through the strict bonds of society that all the other characters follow. Sally has begun to find true meaning to her life, so that she is not just a housewife who knows how to have fun. She wants her own identity as a woman, not as a wife. Instead of trying to free herself from society’s chains by killing herself, Sally more bravely stays alive to look at the issue in the face and defeat it. Bibliography: Ibsen, Henrik. Hedda Gabler. Signet Classic Printing: New York, 1992. Norman, Marsha. ‘Night, Mother. Dramatists Play Service: New York, 1983. McNally, Terrence. Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Penguin Books: New York, 1992.
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