Freedom in "Hedda Gabler" Essay

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One of the many social issues dealt with in Ibsen's predicament plays is the lack of freedom bestowed upon women limiting them to a domestic life. In Hedda Gabler, Hedda struggles with an independent intellect and satisfying her ambitions in the slender role society allows her. Incapable of being creative the way she wants, Hedda's passions become destructive to herself and others around her.

With a father that is a general, Hedda is more of a leader than an ordinary housewife. She manipulates her husband George due to the fact she is unable to have the authority she craves. She tells Thea, "I want the power to shape a man's destiny." Just the mention of her pregnancy displays impatientness and evasiveness because of her unsuitability
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However she does attain a limited amount of freedom through the balance of security and independence she gets by marry a dull academic, who is easily occupied by "rooting around in libraries." Finally Judge Brack, who alleviates Hedda's boredom by being someone she can flirt and speak with as an equal, turns out to not be a loyal friend at all. Brack eventually exploits Hedda's isolation and powerlessness for his own enjoyment.

Her oppressed freedoms first become destructive to Eilert, then Thea, and finally herself. In addition to envying Thea for her creative partnership with Eilert, she hates her for taming a man she idealized as a rebel in the past. After teasing Eilert into joining the party of men, she imagines him returning as a hero, "I can see him. With a crown of vine-leaves in his hair. Burning and unashamed!...Then he'll be himself again! He'll be a free man for the rest of his days." Because Eilert's night ends up with him ruining his reputation again, Hedda changes her first ideal and urges him to disregard life itself by committing suicide. Her destructiveness to both Eilert and Thea is symbolized by the destroying of their manuscript. "I'm burning your child thea! You with your beautiful wavy hair! The child Eilert Loevberg gave

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