Ibsen's Use Of The Huldre In Hedda Gabler

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How Does Henrik Ibsen’s Use of the Huldre in Hedda Gabler Influence the Characters of the Story?

How Does Henrik Ibsen’s Use of the Huldre in Hedda Gabler Influence the Characters of the Story?
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In the play, it is explained that Eilert and Hedda had a close friendship in their youth and Eilert revealed to Hedda the unruly parts of his life, meaning his sexual escapades among other things, and gave her a window into a whole new world. Hedda wanted to be a part of that world, but did not have the courage to disregard social expectations and pursue her innermost wishes, an example of the theme social-self versus essential-self. Instead, she substituted life through Eilert and was able to “experience” a fruitful, edgy life. There are many correspondences between Hedda and Diana, all of which help confirm the representation. The expectation of women in the Victorian society was to get married and become mothers, all fairly quickly. However, neither Hedda nor Diana follow that expectation, this is known from the fact that Hedda got married extremely late and is reluctant to have any children. On Diana’s side, she sells her body for money. Both women use their sexuality to gain financial security (Stanton 558), since Hedda is broke before she marries Tesman and marries him in the first place because he promises the opulent lifestyle she covets, as seen in the …show more content…
Because of the firearm possession, both women have maintained another socially inept element, masculine power and aggression possessed by females. These attributes, among others, all lead to the resemblance of social dissenters, the collective umbrella both these women stand under. The parallels Ibsen drew between these characters create a strong bond between them, but at the same time display the strong differences between them. Diana embodied the “heroine's undisguised thoughts, feelings, and motivations—the dark, subterranean forces within herself” (Stanton 560). While Hedda may embody aspects of the more malevolent huldre, Diana embodies Hedda’s inner being, her unhindered huldre form. The presence of an alter-ego magnifies Hedda’s abscission from the traditional roles of a Victorian bourgeoisie

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