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Hedda Garbler - What is the significance of the physical objects that Ibsen has used in Act-1?

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English Hedda Garbler What is the significance of the physical objects that Ibsen has used in Act-1? "Amidst a beautiful rose garden, where the sunrays came beaming down, she was sitting as though she had been totally oblivious to the happening of the world." This is the way a novelist would elucidate such a situation, with the use of apt words and adjectives, using his language skill to express the emotions of the characters but drama involves a completely different approach, an entirely special technique of writing. A dramatist would probably have to delineate the same situation by the physical presence of the beautiful roses, the display of the beaming sunrays and with the actress having to emote the feeling of loneliness. And it is only then, that the audience would understand that " in the beautiful rose garden, there is a girl feeling very lonely." In what you would call " A Good Drama", the audience is challenged to look not only at the dialogue and actors, but is challenged to examine staging, lighting and even the furniture. ...read more.


However she began to feel suffocate in the claustrophobically middle class atmosphere. An early indication of Hedda's hostility to the world in which she finds herself is when, on an impulse, she speaks demeaning of a hat, which she knows to be Aunt Julie's, {Tesman's aunt} but which she pretends to believe is 'the maid's'. That hat was newly and specially bought by Aunt Julie and was even considered attractive by Tesman but Hedda referred to it as "old" which proves to be a clear indication of the difference in the social classes from which Hedda and Tesman came. The mention by Aunt Julie of her parasol being hers and not the maid Berta's signifies that in spite of the demeaning behaviour of Hedda towards Aunt Julie, the aunt never reciprocated the same way. If Hedda's character has been formed in a military-paternal setting, Tesman still lives in an atmosphere of motherly concern, brought up as he has been by a trio of self-sacrificing women Aunt Julie, Aunt Rina and Berta. ...read more.


Darkness usually symbolizes danger or vice but Hedda's want of "soft light" and not complete darkness gives us signs of her mysterious past. It shows us that although Hedda was interested in all the mysteries and adventures of life, she preferred to keep a sufficient distance from all those things, which would disturb or disrupt her life's stability. In this way Ibsen uses the glass door to indicate their varying attitudes towards life. Hedda's emptiness of life is further illustrated by her distastefulness towards the flowers and her finding the flowers somewhat stifling. Flowers usually are a mark of happiness and hope and often symbolize a new freshness of life. But Hedda's views about the flowers are somewhat opposite. Thus Ibsen has skillfully used various physical objects to reflect essential characteristics of the relations between the characters and to personify his characters. His detailed stage direction reminds us of what _________________, owner of Prithvi theatre, Mumbai had said, " Stage direction is an integral part of every drama. Without the props appropriately placed on stage, the play, however brilliant it may be, appears like a body without a soul, a tear without an emotion and love without a heart." . ...read more.

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