Week 5 Reading Discussions Help Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen

World Literature After 1660

Question Description

You need to respond to two classmate postings this week, with a minimum of 50 words for each of those postings.

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First Posting: Hedda Gabler was a very interesting read and is definitely one of my favorite texts in the class so far. Hedda is a very complicated character. She may seem vindictive and maybe even cruel at first glance, but there is more to her than meets the eye. Hedda is a very strong woman who is faced with the need to conform to society. Hedda only married Mr. Tesman (George) because she believed it was “time” and that out of all her suitors, he was a nice man who claimed to be capable of taking care of her. Hedda didn’t realize how drastically her life would change once married to George. She feels out of the “circle” and like there is no one to talk to, as George and Hedda aren’t interested in the same things. If you remember this before you make a judgement on her character, it is easier to understand why she does the things she does. Hedda is seen as “cruel” when she makes fun of Miss. Tesman’s (Aunt Julie’s) hat. She knows the hat is not Berta’s but she can’t fight the instinct to put Miss. Tesman down. To me this is seen as more of her following her natural instincts and acting on what she is thinking, rather than putting on this image of a sweet young woman to people. Hedda can be seen as crazy, as she makes many references to her pistols, and in the end kills herself with one of them. Instead of seeing her as crazy though, I see her as a strong woman who has taken a “manly” item like the pistol and used it to give her ultimate freedom- and what she considers a beautiful, courageous death. When Hedda believes that Lovborg has killed himself she makes the comment that “there is beauty…Eilert Lovborg has come to terms with himself. He’s had the courage to do what had to be done” (Hedda Gabler). Hedda kills herself because she doesn’t want to be under Judge Brack’s power and she believes in by doing so she will no longer be a coward. A character in the text that I found interesting was Mrs. Elvsted. Mrs. Elvsted is interesting because she leaves her husband to follow Lovborg, which is something extremely unconventional at the time. Mrs. Elvsted is the person who is able to inspire Lovborg to write a wonderful book and help him get back on his feet. Even after his death, Mrs. Elvsted vows to use her notes to rewrite the book with George, in Lovborgs’ honor. You can tell from the text that Mrs. Elvsted was a worthy character, as Hedda becomes obsessed with knowing everything about her situation. Maybe even Hedda is jealous of Lovborg and Mrs. Elvsted’s relationship, as she revels in burning the manuscript, claiming it was their “child”. Mrs. Elvsted was the most courageous character in the book to me because she chased after what she wanted and what truly made her happy, all the while knowing what other people would think, and continued to live despite everything she has been through. Second Posting: Ibsen’s play “Hedda Gabler” revolves around freshly newlyweds. Under normal circumstances, newlyweds should have a blissful amount of fun. Hedda was a highclass woman that expected every situation to go her way. Some women are hard to please but a certain extent, a man will get tired and would’ve had enough to handle. Her husband character seems being taken advantage of but he has no problem with it. In Act 1, Hedda character reveals her a being controlling. Because she likes being high in society; power being given to her is all the best. The author states, “Thee-my poor sweet Thea-how you must tell me everything-exactly as it stands. Well, then you must question me. What sort of a man is your husband, Thea? I mean- you knowin everyday life. Is he kind to you?”(1.330-2). This statement reveals how Hedda like to question everyone’s else’s private life but her own. It’s somewhat she’s going to use these questions against them. Hedda’s personality was so built upon wealth. She absolutely loved spending money like most women do nowadays but she would go overboard. The author states, “Why, what a gorgeous bonnet you’ve been investing in! I bought it on Hedda’s account? Eh? Yes, so that Hedda needn’t be ashamed of me if we happened to go out together” (1.43-6). This conversation is between Hedda and her husband. This statement proves when it comes to money everything goes above her. She dearly loves wealth and finding expensive items to fit her needs. Hedda was a very manipulative woman who would take advantage of everyone. It was her type of entertainment that was enjoyable for her. During these time women were bored and had not real freedom. She chose to make fun of her husband’s dying aunt. She really had no emotions to her life and no feelings towards anyone’s sorrows. Another character that caught my interest in this play would be George Tesman. He was a simple soul kind man. Even though he was a lower class man than what his wife would want, he will try and tend to her. Even though their marriage may not have been full of love but he admired her like no other woman. He should’ve got to know the real person he married. She seemed to me as a crazy woman who had plans for everyone because she was suffering. ...
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