Throughout the years people have developed an image of how a particular gender should act. In the play Hedda Gabler, the characters that are involved challenge and conform the gender stereotypes through verbal and non-verbal text. The author “Henrik Ibsen” has displayed characters such as Hedda Gabler and Julianne Tesman to challenge their stereotypical gender behaviors.
Hedda Gabler, the play’s main character, challenges the common gender stereotype of a woman by portraying Gabbler as a person who has a thirst for being free. Gablers father, General Gabler is one of the main influences of her behavior challenging her feminine role. An example is ‘Tesman- “My old morning shoes, my slippers look! … I missed them dreadfully. Now you should see them”. Hedda- “No thanks, it really doesn’t interest me”. This portrays Gabler showing no affection to Jorgen Tesman’s slippers. The way Hedda is not interested in Tesman’s slippers shows her little care for affection towards Tesman. This challenges the common gender stereotype because women are stereotyped to be affectionate and sensitive.
Hedda Gabler is furthered portrayed by having masculine traits by non-verbal aspects of her character by having a pistol, Hedda-“[lifting the pistol and aiming] I’m going to shoot you, sir!” Brack- “No, no, no! Don’t stand there aiming that at me.” This quote represents the gun symbolically representing her masculinity and at this point, Hedda using it empowers her and used to gain some sought of power over Brack. The gun seen as a non verbal aspect of the play clearly representing Hedda Gabbler in a masculine way challenging the common stereotype of her gender. The gun, a phallic symbol, is Hedda projecting her masculinity. The way she always shows the gun, aiming it at Brack and talking about the gun to Tesman alarming him. Brack towards the end of the play blackmails Hedda about the death of lovburg and to avoid he being publically disgraced must tend to the will of Brack,...
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