In the 19th Century, there arose a widespread question concerning the place of the women in the society. It led to increasing complaints, and debates for women to have a say in the political, economical and social arena. The debate was what was referred to as women question which struggled to define the position of women in the society. The debate was divided into whether the women should have a greater political, economic and social opportunities or whether the women belonged in their home as family caretakers.
The debate about the place of women in the society became a major focus in the social, political and economic arena because of the numerous changes experienced in the European society. This change was mainly brought about by the industrial revolution and the development of capitalism. This led to an increase in women’s labor opportunities in the vast growing industries, but they were often employed for less pay as compared to the male counterparts. The increasing development in women’s labor in the industries started to challenge the traditional notion that the women belonged to the house and that they were economically inferior. Additionally, the opening up of the education sector to increase the educational opportunities of the women led to some pursuing higher education amidst opposition.
Moreover, due to legal and social prohibitions, traditionally established, and scientific theories depicting the women as mentally or physically weak, posed great challenges to the economic, social or political advancement of women in the society. This was evidence because of the numerous challenged the educated women faced while practicing their profession. These challenges made the women team up to champion for their freedom and greater recognition in the society. In the second half of the 19th Century, change started to be seen as women got greater opportunities to pursue higher education. The woman question serves as one of the major points of contention in the Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Hedda Gabler.” In this assignment, we shall discuss the how the main character Hedda Gabler brings out the different issues experienced by women in the pursuit of the women question (Ibsen 781-838).
Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Hedda Gabler,” was published in the year 1890 during a period when the women liberalization was a topic of discussion in the then industrialized countries especially the European countries. During this period, term "New Woman" was commonly used to refer to women who were trying to liberate themselves from the societal limits imposed on women. While New Woman sought for self liberation, determination, equality with males, and a real understanding and control of their sexuality, the Old Woman was stuck in the traditional believes of self-sacrifice, caretaker of the husband and children, and understood sexuality in terms of childbearing.
The author of this play Henrik Ibsen portrays the main character Hedda as a model of the "New Woman." Throughout...