by Henrik Ibsen
Hedda Gabler Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Edmund Gosse and William Archer's translation.
[To BRACK, laughing with a touch of scorn.] Tesman is for worrying about how people are to make their living. (1.444)
So much of what Hedda resents in her husband is simply his fundamental character. Having come from wealth herself, Hedda has never had to worry about "how people are to make their living." She hates that Tesman (and, now that she’s married him, she herself) cannot be so cavalier.
Of course I cannot have my man in livery just yet.
Oh, no, unfortunately. It would be out of the question for us to keep a footman, you know.
And the saddle-horse I was to have had—
[Aghast.] The saddle-horse!
—-I suppose I must not think of that now.
Good heavens, no!—that's as clear as daylight! (1.494-9)
Hedda doesn’t resent that she will miss these luxuries – she resents the loss of power. George is telling her what she can’t have, which means he’s holding authority over her.
[With an expression of fatigue.] Yes, so I did.—And then, since he was bent, at all hazards, on being allowed to provide for me—I really don't know why I should not have accepted his offer?
No—if you look at it in that light—
It was more than my other adorers were prepared to do for me, my dear Judge. (2.73-5)
This goes back to our claim from "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" that wealth is about both money and power. George promised to provide for Hedda, but he also promised to serve her; he pledged to give her money and power.