Gender Roles In Hedda Gabler

Good Essays
The 19th century was a difficult time for women. They had strict duty’s they had to live by and specific responsibilities that controlled their lives. Women were told to stay home, clean the house, tend to their husbands needs, and be a mother to their children everyday from morning to night. Can you imagine doing these domestic duties everyday? Or can you imagine doing the duty’s in a dress that is uncomfortable? Women in the 19th century not only had to do the domestic duties, but they also had to dress a certain way. According to Kathryn Hughes “women had adopted the crinoline, a huge bell-shaped skirt that made it virtually impossible to clean or sweep the stairs without tumbling over” (Hughes, Kathryn). A short story by Ibsen “Hedda Gabler” …show more content…
She is a character that is strong willed, manipulates, lies, and has social power. She challenges the gender and society roles. Hedda came from an up scaled family and is a lot like her father. Her material wealth disappeared when she married Tesman showing that women had no control over property at the time. Although Tesman spent every penny he had on the house that Hedda picked, she is not satisfied. She makes that clear by stating “ I was just looking at my old piano. It really doesn’t go with these other things” and also stating “ Oh, no, don’t trade it in. I could never let it go. We’ll leave it in the back room instead. And then we’ll get a new one to put in here. I mean. As soon as we get the chance” (661). She tries to make Tesman feel bad, because he does not make enough money or cannot get her everything she wants. Women were grateful for what their husbands did. For Hedda it is the other way around. She makes Tesman work harder and makes him feel worse when he cannot provide her with what she wants.
Women loved to be a mother in the 19th century and wanted to have many children to help their family work and do chores around the house. Hedda on the other hand, did not want to have children. Tesman tells Aunt Julie to look at how Hedda has blossomed and how well she is filling out. Hedda though does not want to talk about the subject or does not want people took look
…show more content…
I mean, you do know, to be with? Is he good to you” (666). There conversation is Hedda asking all the questions, controlling all the conversation, and getting information out of Mrs. Elvsted that she wants to know. Suicide was not common in the 19th century. It was really uncommon to see a women explain to a man how to commit suicide so it looked like beauty. However, Hedda is that exception. She convinced Mr. Loveborg to commit suicide because he lost his manuscript and did not know what to do with his life after losing it. Hedda stated, “Eilert Loveborg-Listen to me now-Can you see to it that-that when you do it, you bathe it in beauty” (698). She wants his suicide to represent beauty with vine leaves in his hair. Nobody in the 19th century would see suicide as beauty but Hedda. After Mr. Loveborg committed suicide he did not do it the way Hedda wanted him to and that really disappointed her. She has had power over everyone in her town until now. When Judge Brack finds out that she gave Mr. Loveborg her gun. Now he has power over her and can control what she does. Hedda does not like the feeling of having someone rule over here. Which in the 19th century many people ruled over women. So Hedda decides to take the matter into her own hands and show everyone how beauty looks in committing suicide. She does it by shooting herself right though the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Chronicle of a Death Foretold takes place in a small town where a mysterious murder has happened and Santiago Nasar is the victim because supposedly he has taken Angela Vicario's virginity before marriage. Women in Columbian culture who lose their virginity before marriage are frowned upon because virginity is considered as pride. On the day of his death, he is very happy and does not think for any reason he is going to die. The odd part is, everyone in the town knows who is going to kill Santiago and when he's going to get killed, but no one tells him. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author illustrates machismo as a culture which causes women to be treated less than or not equal to men, in order to illustrate how Angela losing her virginity before marriage causes her to be…

    • 1317 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    And by her losing her father affected her greatly and needed to occupy that emptiness with what she thought can give her happiness. Her decision to marry Larry Donovan was in my opinion trying to fill that emptiness that her father left her. As a consequence, that desire to create a family blinds her to really see who her future husband was in reality. Her obsession with becoming an excellent housewife is too great that she would spend her time sewing every day or as Mrs. Steavens says “pedaling the life out of it” (212). She was getting prepared for her new life as a wife, and this over preparing to become a housewife didn’t let her see with whom.…

    • 1466 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Women were also restricted to just being housewives and taking care of the kids. This led to Mrs. Mallard’s conflicts with society, which told women they were their husband’s property once they got married. A women was a nobody without a husband since they were in control of anything and the woman couldn 't speak out with being judged. She also had conflicts with herself, such as, // As for the woman, she lived in the 1970’s and women had just gotten rights. This made the woman realized she wanted all, she didn 't want to stay home when she could be doing more like changing the world.…

    • 2230 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It 's ironic because Macduff had the perception that a Lady like Macbeth 's wife should never experience or hear such horrifying news of the death of their king. However, it was all her deeds and planning that was responsible for the death of Scotland 's king. Lady Macbeth was sly and even pretended to faint several minutes after she heard of the news. When she realizes her husband may be talking and drawing too much attention to himself regarding the murder, she says "Help me hence,ho!"(II.iii.138). The crowd of people gathered around her then diverted their attention to Lady Macbeth, instead of Macbeth.…

    • 1342 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Lady Macbeth knew what was coming and was not prepared and let herself go, “wherefore was that cry?” (Mac.5.5.16). She was in the castle and ended up committing suicide but the king did not know until he asked the Seyton came by and said, “ the queen, my lord, she is dead” (Mac.5.5.17). He was quit hurt with the fact of his queen dying so he decided to take that out onto the battlefield and go after Macduff. Little did he know that Macduff was the one that was not born by woman. Macduff said, “ I have no words.…

    • 706 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rao (2013) writes in his article “Should housewives be paid salaries?” that staying at home mothers must not receive salary because the responsibility of the chores that they do is private. It may be true that housewives must not get paid for their services. However, people should realize that housewives are doing a job, personal or not there is labor involved. Likewise, it is important to remember that housewives are working every day, and every hour without any breaks that they can relax. Housewives can help their family if they get paid or put their money into insurance, save it for the future and use it if needed.…

    • 736 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It came to the point that Macbeth didn’t even care that his wife committed suicide because he was so obsessed with the idea of being powerful. Taking a few steps back, the third and last thing Macbeth did was lose his mind. When Macbeth lost all his rational thinking, his death was inevitably close. As Macbeth chose power over living, and Lady Macbeth let insanity take over, the story of another tragic hero that was obsessed with the idea of being in power came to an…

    • 2372 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Suicide is certainly the worst mistake that anyone can make in their life, however this young couple decided to do it when being influenced by blinding love. In this section the lovers made three wrong choices, including: Juliet, taking the poison, Romeo deciding to commit suicide after seeing Juliet’s lifeless body and Juliet’s suicide after waking up and seeing Romeo’s dead body. All of these mistakes could have been prevented only if love has not blinded these two lovers. As argued in the last paragraph, Juliet made the mistake of taking the poison and trusting Friar Laurence. In like manner Romeo made the mistake of committing suicide after assuming that Juliet is dead, moments before he kills himself he says: “O true apothecary!…

    • 1259 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    For example, Romeo was told that Juliet was dead. Little did he know, Juliet was only faking her death in hopes to see Romeo again. He is oblivious to the fact of that so he traveled back to Verona to kill himself. When he’s in the tomb, he sees Juliet in the tomb supposedly dead, but still with life in her cheeks. He didn’t know that it was a sign of life (although he should have), so he drank the poison to kill himself.This was a bad decision because it causes sorrow throughout the Montague family.…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    So the mother in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” is the main reason for the house’s whisper and Paul’s sacrifice. In other words, the mother is the representative of the unbridled greed for money in the story and the one who is to be blamed for Paul’s death. This paper will mainly focus on the mother’s personality and try to find out what did the author D.H.Lawrence want to express by creating such a character. First, as a mother, she lives in a mess but does not know how to fix herself. They “lived in a style” and “felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighborhood”, they actually do not have enough income.…

    • 1325 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays