Hedda Gabler, By Henrik Ibsen


Henrik Ibsen portrays a microcosm of nineteenth century Norwegian society in his play Hedda Gabler. Hedda, the protagonist, exhibits a mixture of masculine and feminine traits due to her unique upbringing under General Gabler and the social mores imposed upon her. However, although this society venerates General Gabler because of his military status, his daughter Hedda is not tolerated due to her non-conformity to the accepted gender stereotypes. Hedda's gender-inverted marriage to Jorgan Tesman, her desire for power and her use of General Gabler's pistols are unacceptable in her society and motif of "One doesn't do such a thing!" that is alluded to during the play and expounded upon ...

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Now you should see them, Hedda." Hedda - "No thanks, it really doesn't interest me'. In another gender role reversal, Hedda displays a financial awareness, which her husband, Jorgen does not posses. Although Brack corresponds with Tesman about his honeymoon travels, he corresponds with Hedda concerning the financial matters. This is a role that is usually reserved for men.
Hedda does not only display traits, which are definitively masculine, or feminine, she also objects to and often defies the conventions established for her gender by society. She rejects references to her pregnancy as a reminder of her gender: Tesman - "Have you noticed how plump (Hedda's) grown, and how well she is? How much she's filled out on our travels?" Hedda - "Oh be quiet!" Hedda is reminded not only of her feminine role of mother and nurturer here, but also as wife and "appendage" to Tesman: "And to think is was you who carried off Hedda Gabler! The lovely Hedda Gabler!…now that you have ...

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at the beginning of act two. Brack also reminds Hedda of the inappropriate nature of her "entertainment" and physically takes the pistols away from Hedda. Hedda - "I'm going to shoot you sir!" Brack - "No, no, no!…Now stop this nonsense!" [taking the pistol gently out of her hand]. If you don't mind, my dear lady.…Because we're not going to play that game any more today."

As a parallel to Hedda's masculine game of playing with General Gabler's pistols, Hedda plays the traditionally female role of a "minx" with Brack.
Hedda - "Doesn't it feel like a whole eternity since we last talked to each other?"
Brack - "Not like this, between ourselves? Alone together, you mean?"
...

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Added: 2/25/2006 04:04:10 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1500
Pages: 6

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