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Ibsen’s use of the title “Hedda Gabler” is significant in that it says a great deal about how the protagonist sees herself, her class identity, and her relationship with Tesman. Hedda is the daughter of General Gabler who is an aristocrat. She has married down in class to the bourgeois George Tesman. She still thinks of herself primarily as an aristocrat and the daughter of the General rather than as a member of the bourgeois class, and assumes that she will continue to have rights to a life of luxury and deference from the lower classes as a matter of her birthright, rather than accepting her own situation as Tesman’s wife, which she finds stifling and uncomfortable.
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