Symbolism In Hedda Gabler

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The pistols also represent Hedda’s aristocratic and militant upbringing which influenced her to be a masculine and cold character, especially to those beneath her social standing. Hedda is also compared to the gun. She herself is a weapon, cold and calm until someone pulls her trigger. ‘Her steel-grey eyes express a cold, unruffled repose’ (Archer, 1928, 18). Furthermore, the pistols represent power and control, the obsessive quality in which her father possessed and she inherited. This is ironic because at that time women had very little control over their lives. ‘Men and women were two radically different beings who inhabited ‘separate spheres’. Women were redemptively maternal; the female body a ‘socially undifferentiated’ womb’ (Poovey,…show more content…
It is through this that we learn the authentic, underlying story that the writer wanted to tell; the one of the real Hedda and her struggle for freedom in order to overcome the constraints of society. As the play progresses, we become aware of the different symbols and how each one is a representation of something much deeper than it firsts appears. In this essay I have made reference to a few symbols such as the pistols, the piano, the character of Hedda and the importance of hair. There are many more symbols which feature in the play which would require further examination such as Lövborg’s manuscript; the child and binding love of George and Thea, and a symbol of the future. However, I have discussed the symbols that interested me, as a reader. With that in mind it is fair to conclude that symbols are very powerful factors in ‘Hedda Gabler’. They are present throughout the play and they issue a deeper significance to mundane, everyday objects; this supplies the reader with a more intimate view of the world in which the protagonist lives. Furthermore, these symbols are very powerful as they influence characters in both a conscious and unconscious manner. This is obvious through Carlyle’s words when he says: ‘It is through symbols that man consciously or unconsciously lives, works and has his being’
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