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A comparison of A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler

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Baydan Hassan

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of A comparison of A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler

A comparison of
A Doll's House
Hedda Gabler

of A Doll's House
• A Doll’s House is set in Norway; however, the characters rarely discuss aspects of Norwegian culture or the country itself.

• The Helmer's living room is the major setting and where the entire action of the play takes place.

• Torvald’s study is another setting of the play where Torvald often invests his time to study and have discussions with his friends.

Themes of A Doll's House
• The role of women in society:
- Present in the Victorian Era, women had a specific role which they were expected to follow.
- Over the course of the play, the main character Nora Helmer breaks away from the domination of her husband.

- Deception is present at many times because of the fact that since women have a specific role they are expected to follow, it usually leads to a boring life which causes them perform many unusual things which includes deception.

Role of Women


Both Hedda and Nora are subjected to their submissive husbands and are expected to follow the norms in the Victorian era
Both have a significant other that views them as an inferior. For Nora it is the realization that her husband does not truly love her but needs her as a token of success
Hedda is soon driven to insanity over the stress of everyday life and ends up taking her own life. Both female protagonists value wealth and are confined in their own homes as housewives, and are both driven to insanity over the stress of everyday life.
Both males view their wife as an object of desire, and fail to recognize their hardships and burdens. Their status and income are on a higher pedestal than their wife, and they lack the ability to treat their wife as an equal.

By: Sabrin Hamde, Janice An, Baydan Hassan, Bushra Rashid and Numrita Ramanand
Character Analysis of A Doll's House
-In the beginning of the play, Nora Helmer is a content housewife
- She plays the role of a stereotypical housewife
is keeping a secret from her husband
- Her true personality is eventually revealed as the play progresses
true characteristics: courageous, intelligent, strong ambition
(Appearances vs. Reality)
Deception is a key theme. In the beginning of the play, Nora appears to be a selfish, silly girl but it is later revealed that she has made great sacrifices to save her husband’s life and pay back a loan
Torvald, at first appears to be a loving, generous husband but the reader soon discovers that he is none other than a shallow man
Dr. Rank acts the role of a friend to Torvald and Nora, but the reader soon discovers the true motive for his daily visits: he is in love with Nora.
Henrik Ibsen
Doll's House

Henrik Ibsen
Now on to..
Hedda Gabler
What is
Hedda Gabler
Setting of
Hedda Gabler
-Tesman's home, late 1800's
-Victorian values rule the day
Women are suppose to marry
Their husbands are suppose to take care of them
a women cannot sit alone with a man without being chaperoned
Major Themes of Hedda
Compared to A Doll's House, the concepts of Hedda Gabler are quite similar, relating to the overall theme of women empowerment.
Following the rules of society while remaining wealthy seems to be more important than life itself.
Self Liberation

Self Sacrifices
Hedda believes that the power to determine when and how one dies is the ultimate freedom, and is perhaps the only real control that an individual has in life.
Hedda is married to a man she did not love simply because “her time ran out”; she will have children because she is expected to and fears being in the spotlight of a public scandal.
Hedda attempts to encourage Lovborg to have “a beautiful death” by giving him her gun and guiding him to suicide.


Little Trivia...
1. What is Nora's husband's name?

2. What is the setting of the play?

3. Why do you think the play is called A Doll's House?
Little Trivia...
1. How did Hedda deal with her issues at the end of the play?
2. Who wrote the manuscript which Hedda burnt out of jealousy?
3. Why did Hedda truly marry George Tesman?

characters try to live up to the expectations of society through their wealthy income
Hedda is use to living a luxurious life before she married Tesman, a middle class man, who constantly tries to please his wife by spending money on her
there is an impact that money has on the Tesman’s who were both born in two different classes

One symbol are the macaroons. Nora disobeys her husband by eating the forbidden macaroons
Another symbol is the Tarantella dance; the fast paced movements represent Nora being a victim of society.
In Act 3, Nora tells Torvald that both her father and Torvald have treated her like a doll-child, with no opinions of her own, and have only played with her.
Symbolism of
Hedda Gabler
a reminder and reassurance that she is Hedda Gabler and not Hedda Tesman
The significance of the title
- The title represents the tension between intimacy and informality of Hedda’s marriage.
- Her husband addresses Hedda by her name but Hedda does not do the same
-- Jorgen loves Hedda more than she loves him

What is A Doll's House about?
- Breadwinner of the family and takes pride in his role
- Feels the need to provide guidance to his wife
- Does not treat his wife as an equal
-very self-conscious
- Comes off as loving and generous to his wife but he is really just using her
Self- sacrificed
Treated unequally
Needed the authorization of the men who "owned" them
Motherhood- social responsibility
Hedda and Nora both deal with pressure differently; Nora leaves her husband & children to begin life as an independent woman while Hedda results in suicide
Hedda was never satisfied with her lifestyle as opposed to Nora who deceived Helmer and portrayed herself as the perfect housewife
In accordance to the theme of women, Nora is an independent thinker while Hedda is an independent person
Major Character
The daughter of the famous General Gabler whom she is raised by therefore being used to being a leader throughout her entire life.
She is an unpredictable and somewhat dishonest woman who is not afraid to manipulate others around her.
She acts this way simply because of boredom in her life and the lack of interest she has for her husband
Major Character
He is an obsessive scholar who is very dedicated to his work.
He very much loves his wife, and brags about her a numerous amount of times although sometimes he puts his wife second, and his job first.

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