by Henrik Ibsen
Hedda Gabler Theme of Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
If Hedda Gabler teaches one lesson, it is that dreams cannot be relied upon. In this play, all plans for the future are predicated upon falsities, lies, misunderstandings, or miscommunication. Whether it be marriage, friendship, babies, professional pursuits, or economic risk, no thing is a sure thing. The characters continually act based on these false certainties with regard to the future, and they are repeatedly punished for doing so.
Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
- What "plans" do we see made in Hedda Gabler, and how do they go awry? Are any plans successfully executed throughout the course of the play?
- George remarks that there is a danger in getting caught up in dreams; would Hedda agree? What about her constant retreat to an idealized, romantic world? (Check out more on this aesthetic ideal business in Hedda’s "Character Analysis.")
- At what point has Hedda decided with certainty to commit suicide? When she takes the gun from the writing table? Before that? After?
Chew on This
Dreams are never fulfilled in Hedda Gabler because every character makes his plans dependent on someone else.