In these relationships, Hedda and Eilert are clearly the dominant halves. They are both dissatisfied with the restraints placed on them by society, yet involved with individuals who would keep them bound by these rules. Both Hedda and Eilert recognize the failings in their partners. Just as Brack calls George a "simple soul," so Eilert calls Thea "too stupid to understand" what he used to have with Hedda. George and Thea both come from a class below their partners, and are a bit star-struck to be in these relationships at all.
Mrs. Elvsted is a clear foil for Hedda. While Hedda is masculine, driven, manipulative, and aristocratic, Thea is feminine, passive, kind, and bourgeoisie at best. Their differences are manifested in what they want from Eilert and how they wish to craft his image, one as a renegade free spirit and the other as a domesticated scholar. Hedda is all about violent destruction – burning the manuscript, causing Eilert’s death, playing with her guns, and shooting herself. Mrs. Elvsted, on the other hand, is about creative construction – she is a muse and she helps Eilert to write.