Individual Vs. Society In Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

1923 Words 8 Pages
As human beings, individuals are taught at a very early age the ways society works and the rules expected to be carried out in the normal day-to-day life style. The individual vs. society is a sensitive topic that has been widely used in multiple different literary works, movies, and other types of articular forms. It is something that many face at least once in their lifetime, whether it be a rather difficult run in or not. However the real question is what happens when an individual is at odds with his or her society? Although there are many forms of the individual vs. society, Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler is a source that is widely known for the topic in discussion as he focused on the life of a woman and the limits society chose for her …show more content…
There were many restrictions put upon the classes whenever it came to women especially, it put restrictions on behavior of freedom and fulfillment of the individual which was the main issue of many of Ibsen’s plays. Women sacrificed a lot to society, including sacrificing themselves for their ideas or the ideas they believed in itself. Ibsen presents three main characters who fall victim to the drastic social customs and what type of measures each character would go through to withhold their beliefs around such a restricted society. When a character’s beliefs conflict with the social expectations of society, they deal with the consequences that are often tragic. For example, Women were meant to be proper ladies whose only options were to be a wife, mother or daughter. (Hedda Study Guide) Hedda’s need to be powerful is a trait not often found in women during the Victorian era. (Era of Sacrifice.) Men were the ones who took over the role of power in society. Hedda Gabler had to sacrifice her “womanly image” to continue to possess such power she wanted. Hedda Gabler and Mrs. Thea married to be financially stable by their husbands, they did not marry for love. Being raised up into a different class than Mr. Tesman, Hedda believed that she married into a lower class and has a difficult time getting used …show more content…
The readers begin to see what truly lead to her demise and can almost begin to grow a liking to her character no matter the attitude she displays. This can be seen in an example of “Diary of a Mistress: Hedda Gabler” that discusses how the actress, Freya Olsen, felt when she had to act out Hedda’s Character in Ibsen’s original play viewing. Olsen talks about the struggles she went through in trying to dissect Hedda’s characterizations and find her humanity. “However, I cannot believe Mr. Ibsen would create a main character with no redeeming qualities or a core of truth. I must search deeper. If I am to be cast and ultimately play this role, I must find Hedda’s humanity. I must seek to discover what has brought her to this point as a way of explaining her actions in the play.” (Diary of a Mistress) She goes into detail on how people could relate to this character, no matter the vicious attitude she carries with her. “However, there were a few gratifying comments from people who told me that they understood. They knew that to live life under the control and influence of others would be insupportable and although they felt suicide extreme, they could see that it was Hedda’s only option for release.” (Diary of a Mistress) Although Hedda Gabler does not display the usual loving housewife role, but rather manipulating and vicious female

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