Essay Example on During Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century life nurturing Qualities

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During Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century life nurturing qualities was what defined a woman s value however Ibsen the writer of Hedda Gabler disagreed Stating that women aren't all created to be mothers Ibsen used his writing abilities to reveal the stark contrast between a man and woman s power in Victorian society Ibsen criticizes the overwhelming limitation of opportunities for women in a rigid male dominated society by employing one s hair the abundance or lack of it to symbolize femininity and fertility Hedda Gabler focuses on women centered around a society of men Although the main characters of evaluation are Thea and Hedda the more minor characters go through the same situation For example Aunt Julia gave all that she and Aunt Rina have to live upon for a man George Ibsen 6 In short all of the women in Hedda Gabler are faced with the same problem pleasing the society they live in finding someone other than oneself to care for and living in a man's world 



The way each woman responds to the question differ them from others Ibsen characterizes Hedda as a rather masculine woman Hedda s hair is of an agreeable medium brown but not particularly abundant Ibsen 7 This lack of both fullness and light coloring of hair suggests that Hedda ironically based on the fact that she s filled out on the journey is unable to reproduce and therefore control an aspect of life Ibsen 9 She's pregnant yes but she wants more to create Under the restrictions of bourgeois society Hedda turns to manipulation and passivity to satisfy her hankering for this control The result a disastrous mess for all around her She tries to combat this weakness but all she ends up doing is unsuccessfully deceiving people in an attempt to weaknesses hidden This weakness is displayed in a scene in which Hedda burns Lovborg's manuscript Now I am burning your child Thea Burning it curley locks Your child and Eilert Lovborg s I am burning I am burning your child Ibsen 59 Ibsen does this to further develop the idea of Hedda s inability to create Hedda yearns for this ability of creation and control I want for once in my life to mould a human destiny but all she is able to do is destroy both her and Lovborg s life Hedda is cursed with the touch of infertility for everything she touches turns ludicrous and mean Ibsen 68


Thea a woman of unusually abundant hair is the opposite of Hedda in more ways than one Although These is not pregnant nor has had any children of her own she and her hair symbolize fertility and creation to the fullest extent Mrs Elvsted has this ability to inspire and create a trait Hedda fails to possess Ironically Thea was the woman that had her fingers in a man's destiny Ibsen 58 Her moulding a human destiny by collaborating with Lovborg to create a masterpiece manuscript juxtaposes Hedda s abilities Even as Hedda tries to destroy it Thea is able to recreate and reproduce another with Tesman Unlike Hedda she puts her feelings into action and left her husband and stepchildren for Eilert Thea creates opportunities Even the extent in which Hedda is good at her job destroying still is unmatched to Thea s creating Eilert was a drunkard but Thea s presence her redemption changed his ways and inspired success Thea is everything that Hedda isn't a woman of life inspiration and courage Hedda cannot bear the fact that she has lost her control over Eilert Lovborg to the irritating Thea 11 A conversation between Hedda and Tesman reveal this fact Had he vine leaves in his hair Vine leaves No I saw nothing of the sort But he made a long rambling speech in honour of the woman who had inspired him in his work that was the phrase he used Ibsen 49 The vine leaves in Eilert s hair serve as a Greek allusion to Dionysus highlighting that he is a drunkard Eilert s now state of being absent of vine leaves and addiction and fixation on Mrs Elvsted suggest that Thea inspired Eilert to fix his faults and even figuratively produce a child the manuscript Hedda is jealous of Thea’s influence over 



Lovborg and more importantly herself Hedda is just the product of the society around her Hedda is the victim of her surroundings not her surroundings manipulated by her victim of her circumstances She is stuck within the limits of herself She wants to break free domesticity but not want to meet the consequences that come with it Instead of creating and seizing opportunities for herself like Thea Hedda destroys her chances of happiness in fear of falling into genteel poverty 32 Because of this fear Hedda becomes ends up in a marriage stripped of love and happiness all because she didn't have the courage to stand up for herself On the other hand Thea does Thea with determination and no fear of scandal leaves her husband for Eilert Lovborg In the end it is the timid Thea who serves as the quintessential modern woman in the traditional setting of Hedda Gabler Since it is a woman's purpose to create her value is placed solely on her fertility which is symbolized by an abundance of hair While Thea is able to inspire and create Hedda only destroys It is Hedda that destroys the manuscript destroys Eilert Lovborg and ultimately destroys herself She is essentially an ignorant highly romantic woman trapped in the rigid society of 19th century Europe The symbolic nature of hair seems to strip Hedda of her feminine characteristics and emphasize the femininity of Thea Hedda s lack of self fulfillment leads to her self destruction Hedda Gabler serves as a reminder of the importance of action


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