There has been a long history of women’s oppression by men in many traditional societies throughout the world. Society gave women an ideal image to follow: getting married, having a family and taking care of the family. Some women submit to the image, but certain individual stands against it. In Henrik Ibsen’s stories of Hedda Gabler and A Doll House, we witness examples of a single individual against the overwhelming society. Nora left her family and marriage behind to become an independent individual without the control of men; whereas, Hedda Gabler choose death as her ultimate solution when she was threatened to be control by man.
Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was written in 1879 in a style of realism, which depicted life more truthfully without idealized literary elements. A Doll’s House conveys Ibsen’s concern for women’s rights. It portrays Nora, a woman who appeared as an ideal woman in the society doing activities such as creating a beautiful home and meeting the needs of her husband and children. From a dramatic event that broke her marriage, she finally realized the truth that she was a doll-like figure and left the house to seek her own identity.
After “A Doll’s House” Ibsen wrote another masterpiece, Hedda Gabler. Different from “A Doll House”, it shows none of Ibsen’s reforming zeal like the emancipation of women in “A Doll’s House”. Rather, it is about a study of a complex figure, Hedda. Hedda had a defected sense of morality. She manipulated everyone who was around her, yet we still feel pity for her. It is because she is a tortured figure caught in the midst of the society, a tormented soul who never gets a grasp of her own destiny. At last, she chose death as her solution to escape or rebel against her destiny.
The major issue faced by characters from Hedda Gabler and A Doll’s House has always been caused by higher forces. Hedda Gabler only married her husband, Tesman because the society would look down upon her if she did not do so. She claimed “my time was up” (Ibsen 1484). She didn’t love her husband at all only married because she was at the age to marry. She married Tesman because in the eyes of the society, he is a worthy husband to a woman of her status.
Hedda’s marriage was full of boredom. When Judge Barack asked her if she have any natural talents, she replied that her only natural talent was “boring to death” (Ibsen 1488). In fact, that was probably true. When she was single, she was under the control of her father. She was not allowed to go out and discover the world. Her only source of information about the world came from Mr. Loevborg. Now that she is married, she stays home and does nothing all day.
In A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer discovered the truth about her life at the end of the story. Nora had never done anything for herself. When she was with her father, she took in her father’s opinion as her opinion. Her father called her a “doll child” (Ibsen 66). When she got married, the power only transferred from...