Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler: Describing a Loveless Marriage

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

There are several realistic hopes that individuals can have for marriage, however, these do not always get granted. As we can conclude from this playwright Hedda Gabbler, this is certainly the case. Many of her words and actions spoiled the relationship between her and Jorgen Tesman. However, I feel that both parties are responsible for the failed and loveless marriage. Hedda possesses no qualities that would link her to being a wife at all, she is certainly a mean, vulgar, and lazy woman. Her marriage with Mr. Tesman is nothing more than a signed document. Although, to some degree, this marriage showcases realities, it also reveals that these two were not madly in love with each other, and Hedda most likely would not have committed suicide if the two did not wed.

No marriage has perfect harmony, or consistent getting-along (Dr. Carol, N.D.). However, in the cases such as the ones described in this play, little to none harmony concluded in this marriage. Hedda approaches her husband with ignorance and sarcasm in nearly all conversations. One of the first cases of this is in front of her mother-in-law. The three are communicating about a dress, and Jorgen brings up that he, too has occasion. To which his wife, impatiently claims “Oh you don’t have occasions for anything” (Ibsen, p. 178, 2008). As we can see, she doesn’t life her husband up, rather brings him down. This scene takes place when the two just get back from a six-month long honeymoon. This extended trip should have Hedda in the best of moods, however, it is just the opposite. Another example where harmony in their marriage is missing is when her husband asks but a simple request. It is no secret that Hedda doesn’t necessarily care for Aunt Julle. Her husband asks if she could simply give his aunt a kiss, because she hasn’t been herself lately. To that, Hedda says: “Oh, don’t ask me, Tesman, for God’s sake. I’ve told you before, I just couldn’t. Ill try to call her Aunt. And she’ll have to be content with that (Ibsen, p. 180, 2008). When two people are truly in love, the other will do all that they can to harmonize their significant others family. Even if the family is difficult and they don’t really care for them, they will pretend to do so for the sake of their loved one. This relationship is lacking in many areas that showcase it is a loveless marriage.

Dr. Carol stated in her blog that friendship should be included in a healthy marriage. There are several things that are typical of a friendship, and one of those things is having fun together (Dr. Carol, N.D.). However, Hedda is extremely bored in this marriage, which is very noticeable. It is apparent that Jorgen promised Hedda a social life, however, she received far from that. Spending many hours at home. When her husband and her conversate about her boredom, he seems to be puzzled as to what she enjoys spending time doing. When he refuses to allow her to indulge in having her own horse, she states: “oh, well…I’ve got one thing at least that I can pass the time with” (Ibsen, p. 197, 2008). Jorgen is very confused, and asks what Hedda is talking about, and to that she says her pistols. When she states this to her husband, she does so with concealed contempt. The two have no social life together, and Hedda is quite bored in her marriage. No friendship is found between the two and they know little about one another. Hedda is not granted the same freedom as her husband, due to the era in which they are living in, which is extremely different from modern times.

According to Shmoop:“The point is, it’s the Victorian era. And for those of you who weren’t around to experience it personally, you should know that it was not a fun time to be a woman. Just look at your text for examples: Hedda isn’t allowed to hang out with a man unless a chaperone is present. She isn’t allowed to go to the Judge’s party. She has to be careful not to use the word “night” when referring to the time she spends with her husband, because that might imply sex (Shmoop, p. 1, 2008). As we can see, this marriage is nothing but restrictions and pure boredom. Although, certainly Hedda is not the only woman during this time to face such injustices, however, she is in a loveless marriage, making said sacrifices even more difficult.

There are many reasons as to why this relationship is spoiled. As we have discussed, Hedda’s communication with her husband is very bad. She constantly makes fun of him, and it appears that she is never satisfied. Not to mention, that they share no similarities, and have no legitimate friendship even. Hedda is very bored, and has little to no room to fulfill her goals and dreams. She is actually so bored, that being manipulative and messing with people’s lives is the only thing she really can do. Which may explain why she is so bitter and ill-mannered. In the end, Hedda commits suicide, which can most likely be due to her boredom. I feel that also, her husband is at fault, because he never gave her the life she wanted or deserved.

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