Victims of their Time
Hedda Gabler refers to Henrik Ibsen’s play published in the 1890. Hedda is a character in the play who presents a pronounced dramatic role, albeit controversial. She is an uncompromising protagonist. Different scenes depict her as either an archetypical feminist, rebellious against the society, or a victim of circumstances. Ibsen portrays Hedda as a newly wedded wife who is fed up with her marriage and her life. From the play, it is apparent that Hedda did not marry her husband (Tesman) for love but because she believed that her youthful years were over. She is depicted as a wife whose role is to entertain and to engage in housekeeping while her husband is the provider. She represents the historical age when women were depicted as objects to be used by their husbands.
Hedda’s character exposes the inner pressures and struggles that inhibited the progress of women during the 19th century. Women had to conform to a given persona that was acceptable by the societal and family pressures. They could not freely express their thoughts, desires, feelings, and needs. Such societal and familial expectations show Hedda experiencing an internal conflict as she tries to balance her essential character and her social self, in a bid to fulfill societal expectations. This depicts her as a victim of her time since her historical age ensured that women remained undeveloped socially and economically. Women have to wait upon their husbands to provide for them. When husbands fail to satisfy the women’s expectations the latter became lonely, isolated, and disappointed both emotionally and economically, hence becoming victims of circumstances.
The Underground Man is portrayed as an anti-hero. He is an oppressed and indecisive victim of the early 19th century Russian society. The Underground Man is shown as critical about the rational arrogance and other risky ideas that are associated with a utopian society. As such, he is a victim of the contemporary urban Russian experiences. He is deprived the necessary positive societal interactions as he attempts to contend with the society in accordance with the guidelines and illustrations which he discovers in European literature. The Underground Man’s failure to relate to the society as he wishes makes him feel inadequate, isolated, and bitter, making him plunge deeper. The Underground Man represents a historical age that is riddled by corruption and other social injustices that led to dejected men and ideologies that pester their festering mental abilities.