Essay on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Essay on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

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Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler portrays the societal roles of gender and sex through Hedda as a character trying to break the status quo of gender relations within the Victorian era. The social conditions and principles that Ibsen presents in Hedda Gabler are of crucial importance as they “constitute the molding and tempering forces which dictate the behavior of all the play's characters” with each character part of a “tightly woven social fabric” (Kildahl). Hedda is an example of perverted femininity in a depraved society intent on sacrificing to its own self-interest and the freedom and individual expression of its members. It portrays Nineteenth Century unequal relationship problems between the sexes, with men being the independent factor and women being the dependent factor. Many of the other female characters are represented as “proper ladies” while also demonstrating their own more surreptitious holdings of power through manipulation. Hedda Gabler is all about control and individualism through language and manipulation and through this play Ibsen shows how each gender acquires that or is denied.
Hedda is a product of the nineteenth century, when women were ordained to become either proper old maids (like George's aunts) or modest housekeepers (like Mrs. Elvsted), however Hedda is an anomaly. She has been raised by a dominating father and rebels against his leadership at the same time she revels in his power. General Gabler taught Hedda to ride and shoot, which symbolizes the origin of her attraction with the violent and the romantic, Hedda's intense preoccupation with pistols, her desire to have control over the fate of another individual and take part in the public life of men, her rejection of family life shown in her at times mal...


... middle of paper ...


... intricacies of the social milieu of the time and place” (Kildalh).



Works Cited

Embler, Weller. "A Note on Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler"" College English 7.8 (1946): 456-58.
JSTOR. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Kildahl, Erling E. "The "Social Conditions and Principles" of "Hedda Gabler"" Educational
Theatre Journal 13.3 (1961): 207-13. JSTOR. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Spacks, Patricia M. "The World of Hedda Gabler." The Tulane Drama Review 7.1 (1962): 155-
64. JSTOR. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Thresher, Tanya. "'Vinløv I Håret': The Relationship Between Women, Language, And Power In
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler." Modern Drama 51.1 (2008): 73-83. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Thresher, Tanya. "The Performance Of Sex And Gender In Oslo Nye Dukketeatrets Hedda
Gabler." Scandinavian Studies 78.4 (2006): 405-418. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.

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