Feminism in a Doll's House & Hedda Gabler

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Feminism in The Doll’s House & Hedda Gabler
To an average reader, at first glance, Henrik Ibsen’s plays Hedda Gabler and A Doll’s House are just an entertaining read. However a more in-depth study of the text shows that throughout A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler Ibsen makes use of symbols, motifs and circular conclusions to demonstrate the development of two housewives throughout the late 19th century. One of the ways that Ibsen shows this is symbolism. Throughout Hedda Gabler the symbols that Ibsen presents are: the piano that Hedda plays shortly before her death, General Gabler’s two pistols, Tesman’s slippers, the portrait of General Gabler and the manuscript. The latter hangs in Tesman’s drawing room and it symbolizes the constant overlook of General Gabler. It also builds up a complex in Tesman, as the general is the man that Hedda loves and the man that he will never be. The portrait presents Hedda’s domination over Tesman as well, since it is his drawing room and yet it isn’t aunt Julle’s portrait that is hanging there it is Hedda’s fathers. General Gabler’s two pistols are amongst the most important symbols in the play. The two pistols represent, much like the portrait, the General’s power over the family even though he is deceased - this is proven, as it is the pistols that take Hedda’s life and that of her lover - which is also a case of circular conclusion, because Hedda has threatened others with her pistols before, and in Act One of the play Hedda says that at least she has one thing to kill time with - her pistols. The pistols also represent Hedda’s father who takes their lives when he sees that his daughter’s life is falling apart. There are two pistols and two deaths.
The slippers that Ibsen has incorporated in to the story also play a significant part in sending a message to the reader. The slippers represent Tesman’s emotional attachment to…...

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