Symbolism In Hedda Gabler And The Handmaid's Tale

1151 Words5 Pages
Paper 2 :Hedda Gabler and The Handmaid 's Tale How can we explain the continued interest in a particular work in different contexts and at different times?

Symbolism is a literary devices, that enables the author to imbue everyday objects with alternative meaning, often related to universal concepts. The authors of Hedda Gabler, and The Handmaid’s Tale explore a multitude of universal themes in their works, ensuing their relevance through time and culture. The play “Hedda Gabler”, was written in the late 19th century, by a famous Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Margaret Atwood, a Canadian author, spent over thirty years writing the novel, which was published in 1985. Despite different cultural and historical contexts, these works bear
…show more content…
These mental images, also known as imagery, aids the reader to emerge into the writing, and sparks the reader’s visual imagination. In the stage directions, we are first introduced to the image of the dark porcelain stove in Tesman’s drawing room. Throughout the play Ibsen draws our attention to this particular stove. Innocuous at first sight, the stove parallels Hedda’s state of mind. Just like the stove harbours a fire under the cold black porcelain, so too does Hedda conceal within her a bonfire of frustration and violence. The blazing stove also symbolizes destruction, a reminder that one can only repress but not inhibit destruction 's powers. This is a direct link to a Hedda and her destructive habits. From threatening to burn Thea’s hair in school to sabotaging Lovborg’s career to the eventual self-destruction. Imagery of fire and of destruction follow Hedda’s actions throughout the novel. Similarly, images of flowers continue to arise in The Handmaid’s Tale. The narrator describes the abundance of floral imagery in the Commander’s house, there 's a "watercolor picture of blue irises" , the bathroom is "papered in small blue flowers, forget-me-nots" and the bedroom is embellished d with "a starry canopy of silver flowers". Furthermore, in the novel the Wives compensate for their lack of fertility by decorating themselves with flowers and tending gardens: "Many of the Wives have such gardens, it 's something for them to order and maintain and care
Open Document