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An examination of how Ibsen and Lorca present the confinement of women in their plays Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler.

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Introduction

Candidate Name: Nele Maria Palipea Candidate Number: 001408- 023 IB English A1 HL World Literature Assignment 1 An examination of how Ibsen and Lorca present the confinement of women in their plays Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler. Word count: 1580 The theme of confinement is significant in these plays as both of the playwrights have physically confined their female characters into a closed environment and constantly refer back to it through speech. They do so in order to encourage the audience to think about the unequal and unpleasant situation of women in their societies. It's respectable to comment that targeting this issue must've seemed radical to the passively accepting public of those times, whereas, it promotes admiration in the contemporary audiences who have mostly passed gender inequality. Through looking at setting, language and symbols, this essay explores the portrayal of women's confinement in Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler. The playwrights have physically depicted the confinement of women in the plays' settings. When these plays were written, women were primarily confined to their house in the Andalusian and Norwegian society. Both of the playwrights have used this and placed their female characters in the closed environment of their home. ...read more.

Middle

Bride's mother slowly faded to her death in the 'cave' where there's 'no good land' (page 49) for trees to grow, and which is 'a good couple of hours from the nearest house' (page 36). Therefore, the 'cave' is an implicit portrayal of the conflict between human craving for freedom and the confinement society imposes on women. Besides expressing the confinement of women, the playwrights also address their passive acceptance of it. In Blood Wedding, Lorca represents society's voice and women's passive acceptance through Mother. For this character, the rules of society exceed the natural and instinctual unlike with Bride's mother. For instance, "When the Felix murdered [her husband], [she] looked straight at the wall" (page 33). Although she suffers from these as she's lost a husband and a son due to the appraisal of family honor, Mother continues to support society and teach others to do the same. She teaches Bride that "[Marriage] is a man and his children, and a thick stone wall to keep the rest of the world out" (page 51). Her numerous uses of the word 'wall' suggest, however, that she is not so rigid and cold, but is willing to be confined because she realizes the futility of going against the powerfully established society. ...read more.

Conclusion

conveying her dislike for the confinement and her crave for similar rights as Leonardo. Through horses, Hedda, too, expresses her unfavorable feelings for her imprisonment by commenting "...a saddle- horse that I was going to [ride] - ...I suppose it's no use of even thinking of that now" (page 295). This means that she's denied even the illusion of freedom riding a horse creates. Ibsen provides her with a similar method of relief,however, through shooting with General Gabler's guns. This masculine activity also gives her a sense of power and freedom that her fierce nature needs. It's only fitting that she shoots herself in the end with these very same guns to escape her confinement. In brief, Ibsen and Lorca have powerfully presented the unjust circumstances of women in the Andalusian and Norwegian society through physical confinement and restriction of movement in their plays. The playwrights have expressed their judgment over this by developing doleful attitudes in their female characters, and causing them to take desperate measures, such as the protagonist committing suicide Hedda Gabler, against this oppression. On the other hand, they also express passive acceptance and the need for belonging in humans which is what stops the women from trying to change their situation. In addition, the playwrights have used effective language and symbols in order to try and bring a change to this mind-set in their audience. ...read more.

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