In the time Henrick Ibsen wrote Hedda Gabler Realism, Naturalism, and Symbolism were alive in arts and literature. He brought these out in the play by showing an individual's conflict with society and its pressures that contradict ones desires. In Ibsen's Hedda Gabler we meet a woman who has let society, social class, and social power take over and ruin her sanity and therefore life. The four acts of the play let us try to unravel the reasoning of a woman who has become consumed by social order and fear of any exposure of herself. .
How it develops .
Hedda grew up as the General's daughter and was always looked at as aristocracy. There is no mention of Hedda's mother all we see is a stern picture of a general and his guns. This could give reason to believe that Hedda's bold and militant father contributed to her cold, unusual view of life and hatred for the "sickly, stupid word" love. Hedda sees love and beauty in different ways than most. She resects boldness, control and power and these are traits in which she tries to enforce onto others. She does not, however, see beauty in marriage, love children, or nature. She sees it in courage to engage against society. She is very cold to Miss Tesman and has no regard for her new husband. Miss Tesman and Bertha speak of her as "General Gabler's daughter" and as being a real lady. They speak of how they remember her riding with her father with a feather in her hat. This is another example of Hedda's place in society; she was always in the spotlight and treated as higher class. This also brings up Hedda's fear of scandal. Since she is in bourgeois spotlight she is scared of anything that might make her feel less of a "real lady." These thoughts seem to consume her and she grows more and more intrigued by scandal. Her desires were well hidden from society, behind her father and social status. She seems as if she is always sheltered from society by her father and engaging in society through someone else.