Hedda Gabler

Escaping through Manipulation

In Henrik Ibsen's acclaimed play Hedda Gabler, the main female character, Hedda Gabler, is a modern woman striving to attain her desires through manipulation. She persistently endeavors to create a world that matches her masculine character by exploiting the people around her. Gabler also accomplishes her task by p a character's will, giving her subtle and deceptive control. Through Gabler's exceptional skills as a manipulator, the play scrutinizes the feminine role and what defines a woman.

Through manipulation, Gabler discovers joy and a sense of power not often felt by women during her time. She takes advantage of her ability by constantly interfering in the lives of other characters, easily shaping their wills to meet her desires. Gabler admits this in her conversation with Mrs. Elvsted in Act 3. Mrs. Elvsted states, "You have some hidden motive in this, Hedda!" to which Gabler replies, "Yes, I have. I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny". Gabler is able to do so because she is surrounded by individuals who function solely on the basis of society's values, rendering their actions predictable.

Gabler refers to individuals that she can manipulate as...

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