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Hedda Gabler: New Woman

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27 October 2008 Hedda Gabler : A New Woman? On the surface, Hedda Gablers' independent, socially unacceptable, and indifferent attitude often portrays her as being a new woman. The way in which she continues to refer to herself as Hedda Gabler, though her married name is Tessman; or the way in which she replies curtly, "I am exactly as I was when I started" (Ibsen ) to Tessman's comment about her filling out all seem to support the claim, as many of Hedda's actions and comments alone do. However, in digging deeper into the work, and after understanding and analyzing Hedda's actions as a whole, it can be seen that her efforts to be a new woman are in fact futile. Instead, Hedda's character ultimately fall into three major roles of a stereo-typical woman; of a damsel in distress, a harlot, and a monstrous woman. The role of a damsel in distress applies somewhat differently to Hedda's character, as opposed to the typical princess being trapped in a tower, waiting for her prince charming to save her. ...read more.


Lovborgs murder showed his loss of control over himself and in a way Hedda's control over him. As a result, Hedda commits suicide by shooting herself through the temple; her final attempt to control her life and escape the constraints. Hedda Gablers' role as a harlot is quite obvious throughout the novel, most clearly when dealing with Brack. From the beginning, Brack is not hesitant in suggesting a "tete-a-tete" by stating that he thinks "marriage to be an institution" then going on to say all one required was a private and intimate place. Hedda, promiscuous as she is, plays along immediately, even revealing her hidden desires to "add a third" in her life. Hedda reaction, with knowledge of her character, is not surprising. During her so called honeymoon with Tessman, Hedda becomes deathly bored. She realizes the type of life she has condemned herself to, and begins dreading every moment of it. ...read more.


She knew that keeping Lovborg and Thea from their beloved child would tear them apart, and yet...she did it anyways. After Thea leaves, Lovborg confesses to Hedda that he had not ruined the manuscript himself, but had in fact lost it in his drunken stupor the night before. Hedda fakes sympathy and understanding...aonly to egg on Lovborgs idea of committing suicide. She not only provides Lovborg with her pistol, but then goes on to advise him to do it "beautifully". However, The most solid evidence of Hedda's wicked mind is proven in her odd interest to kill children. For once Lovborg leaves, Hedda pulls out the pages of Lovborg's manuscript, and slowly throws each page into the fire, all the while saying, "Now I am burning your child, Thea!--Burning it, curly-locks! Your child and Eilert Lovborg's. I am burning--I am burning your child" (Ibsen ). could Such actions, ones of ruining and ending lives, even those of children can only be the work of a monstrous woman. A woman like Hedda Gabler. ...read more.

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