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A Fantasy Come True Essay

1055 words - 4 pages

When a beloved family member dies the natural human reaction to cope with the depressing news is known as denial. In Hedda Gabler and “How to Paint a water Lily”, both Ibsen and Hughes suggest that men live in a fantasy rejecting reality to protect them from horrifying situations. While Hughes believes that this fantasy is a natural survival technique used by men, Ibsen believes that by hiding the reality of life man are driven to insanity which prevents the growth of a potential culture hero.
Ibsen reflects his belief: fantasy life protect humans from an appalling circumstance with his character Hedda Gabler whose fantasy is the life of perfect wife .Throughout the book Hedda’s actions has a double meaning the reason she gives Tessman and her true intention. Ibsen wants to convey that culture suppresses Heddas abilities to lead and manipulate power. Hedda tries to justify her actions, such as the burning of the book, by telling Tessman “I did it for your sake, George” (292)and she makes her self believe that she burned the book for Tessman so that in both her and Tessmans minds the fantasy of the ideal wide may be fulfilled. Hedda sells this fantasy to Tessman to prevent him from seeing her true intention. In Tessmans Perspective Hedda is the wife that is willing to do anything for him and his happiness. For Hedda this fantasy of ideal wife is what motivates her to continue the relationship with Tessman, she knows that her true desire is power and freedom; she has to believe that Tessman has the ability to be greater. Ibsen demonstrates Heddas passion to live out the fantasy with the following conversation between Hedda and Brock “Fortunately the wedding trip’s over now…I’ll never jump out.” (252) where Hedda’s superficial love and marriage is compared to a train that she refuses to ever abandon. Her loyalty to Tessman is for appearance but underneath the loyalty Hedda is controlling her surroundings.
With Hughes we see that he is able to demonstrate the apollonian restraints that force a human to create a fantasy for them. In his poem “How to Paint a Water Lily” Hughes illustrates society incarcerating reality with a more beautiful appearance, the water lily. Hughes imagery paralleling “both worlds (as) still/as a painting, trembling hardly at all” (ll.24-25) indicate the transformation that society forces on the human “apollonian consciousness” by “hiding (their) Dionysian world from…vision.”(Nietzsche). The fantasy in his poem is the beauty of the water lily and the flower growing in the violent and grotesque world is the reality of nature. This beautiful flower is the distraction to the “battle-shouts and death-cries” (ll.9-10) occurring underneath the water lily. This motif of society trapped between appearances and the reality of the world is recurring throughout the entire poem, until line 22 when Hughes implements a tonal shift and returns the reader’s attention to the beauty of the water lily. Portray that society is always trying...

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