Discuss two ways the theme of motherhood is introduced in Hedda Gabler.

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As the other educator has pointed out, the theme of motherhood is introduced through two main characters: Mrs. Thea Elvsted and Hedda Gabler.

At the beginning of the story, we learn that Jurgen Tesman's academic rival, Ejlert Lovborg, was a tutor to Thea's step-children for two years. Thea has birthed no children of her own; instead, she has directed her maternal energies towards Lovborg. In her meeting with Hedda and Tesman, Thea begs Tesman to keep an eye on Lovborg when he turns up.

When Tesman leaves the women's presence, Thea continues her conversation with Hedda. We soon learn that there is a twenty-year difference between Thea and her husband and that there is little love lost between the two. For her part, Thea has decided to leave her husband for Lovborg (if he will have her). She confesses that she has some "influence" over Lovborg. So, here, we see Thea's maternal energies channeled towards Lovborg rather than her step-children.

Later, Thea directs yet more of her maternal...

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