Paper: An Analysis of Happiness in Hedda Gabler

Every mans goals and ambitions for the future vary from one to the next, yet all share a common bond, all hope for their own personal happiness. For Hedda Gabler, happiness may be achieved by and only by controlling the immediate environment around her. Therefore, Hedda, to ensure this somewhat demented happiness, must continuously strive for complete control and domination of the people and objects closest to her. To quench this lust for power, Hedda first attempts to control her husband George Tesman. Unfortunately for Hedda, George offers no resistance to her authority and is quickly manipulated and easily dominated, for he buys his bride the house she so desires with little hesitation. Consequently, Heddas life hereafter becomes an all out pursuit for power, for which she must now seek elsewhere. Eilert becomes Heddas next unwitting target. Hedda destroys Eilerts child, this of course being the manuscript, and then hands him a fully loaded gun. Let me rephrase that, first, she takes away any reason for Eilert to live, and additionally she gives him means to end his already miserable life. It appears that Hedda is leaving nothing up to chance, in fact, it seems fair to say that she is even controlling Eilerts fate. Yet ultimately, Hedda is unable to adjust to the world around her and must take her own life. Hedda finally realizes that she may never completely control her immediate surroundings and must relinquish some power. For Hedda, this is impossible. Perhaps the best example of this may be found in Heddas reluctance to have a child. Often the idea is casually hinted upon by Miss Tesman, but is: then just as casually dismissed by Hedda. But why? In many senses, a child dominates the life of their parent. A parent must always sacrifice for their child, and herein lies Heddas dilemma: she refuses to be at someones beck and call. Moreover, Hedda finds the act of impregnation itself humiliating. After all, it is the male who impregnates the woman. To become pregnant would force Hedda to give up too much, and it is in turn this reluctancy which causes her to take her own life. ...