Hedda Gabbler, By Henrik Ibsen And Madame Bovary, By Gustave Flaubert

1001 words - 4 pages

The role of a woman remains the same throughout human history. Many women prepare for the role of wife and mother from an early age. If one is not married at a certain age then they are labeled as a spinster, a prude. Hedda Gabler and Emma Bovary fearful of being dubbed as a spinster, marry men whom they both despised. During the mid 1800’s, Emma Bovary’s period: women considered inferior to their male counterparts, they could not divorce their husbands, and their husbands essentially own them. Alas during Hedda Gabler’s setting, nothing changes. Because of their society, they are alienated individuals thwarted due to their social status, gender, and misguided intentions.
Due to their social class, Hedda Gabler and Madame Bovary both become alienated individuals. The latter is a part of the bourgeois however; she believes that her rightful place is in the upper class. She married her husband in hopes of traveling, and acquiring great wealth along the way. She dreamed of romance, wealth, and notoriety, but she could not obtain any of these concepts if she stayed with Charles. Emma wanted to attend balls, host extravagant parties, and have a large network of important citizens in France, however being a part of the bourgeois limits what one could do. After attending a ball with her husband, she concluded that her surroundings were mundane, and that “she had been in it all by an accident: out beyond, there stretched as far as the eye could see the immense territory or rapture and passions. In her longing, she made no difference in the pleasures of luxury and the joys of the heart, between elegant living and sensitive feeling.”(66) While Hedda Gabler once belonged to the upper class knows the joys of such parties, and extravagance. When her father fell from the grace of the army, she acquired his debts, thus bringing her down a rung form the social ladder. Hedda believed that her time was up, so she quickly married a scholar with hopes of rising back to her original class. Ironically, George Tesman, Hedda Gablers’ husband, in desperation of keeping Hedda’s love bought a house on the prospects of a job he has yet earned. George with little money borrows from his aunt for down payment on the house, a house that Hedda does not even want. George is worried that his rival Lovborg might take his job away from him. Hedda is does not like the fact that she cannot have what she wants she likes the power that she gets with money:
HEDDA
I'm only looking at my old piano. It doesn't go at all well with all the other things.
TESMAN
The first time I draw my salary, we'll see about exchanging it.
HEDDA
No, no—no exchanging. I don't want to part with it. Suppose we put it there in the inner room, and then get another here in its place. When it's convenient, I mean. (1.194)
Hedda’s wealth has alienated her from her married family; her wealth serves as a...

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