Hedda Gabler Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Hedda and Brack are discussing a trip in a compartment on a train, what are they really discussing?

2. What does Mrs Elvsted tell Hedda that Lovborg has done for her specifically because he knew she wanted it?

3. What does Hedda dream of convincing Tesman to do?

4. Which of the following best characterizes Tesman's feeling towards Julle?

5. Why is the professorship so important to Tesman?

Short Essay Questions

1. Other than her dialogue, what are Hedda's two final actions in the play HEDDA GABLER?

2. Hedda does two things in Act 1 that make Julle uneasy. What are they, and why did they make Julle uneasy?

3. Describe Hedda Gabler's character.

4. At the end of Act 3, what does Hedda say to Lovborg about vine leaves? Why?

5. What does the letter from Julle tell Tesman about Rina? What are Tesman and Hedda's responses?

6. In Act 1 of Hedda Gabler, what does Hedda say about her piano? What does Tesman suggest in reply, and how is his suggestion received?

7. How does the title character in HEDDA GABLER feel about motherhood? Do others know or expect her to feel this way?

8. What does Lovborg tell Mrs. Elvsted he did with the manuscript? Why does he tell her this?

9. What is the financial situation of the newly married couple?

10. What brought Lovborg back to town?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The play HEDDA GABLER was first published in 1890. Write an essay about the world as it was then.

Part 1: What was the society and culture like that first received the play HEDDA GABLER? What, in his society, was like ours and what was different? What aspects have changed but still show influence after all these years?

Part 2: What aspects of his culture influenced Henrik Ibsen to write the play HEDDA GABLER? What message was he trying to send with his plays? Was there a part of society that he felt was unjust and reacted to in his work?

Part 3: How well was his work and his message received? Did most of his society accept and agree with his message or was it controversial? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about Henrik Ibsen.

Part 1: Write a brief biography of Henrik Ibsen. When and where did he live? What was his life like?

Part 2: What was the society that Ibsen lived in like? What parts of it influenced his writing? Did he have any message about societal norms that he tried to express in his plays?

Part 3: Discuss Henrik Ibsen's works. Was his work well received? What reaction did the society of his time have to his works? Was his work influential in theater as we know it? How?

Essay Topic 3

In the play HEDDA GABLER, Hedda is distraught about the loss of power she has over her own life. She confesses to marrying because Tesman could take care of her and wasn't ridiculous. The society she lives in gives her few choices about her life, and the only option she has is to marry despite the fact that she quite clearly does not want a family. Write an essay about the roles and responsibilities of society and the individual.

Part 1: Hedda ends up by destroying both a brilliant man and herself. Was she a pawn to an unjust society or careless and self centered?

Part 2: Given the society that Hedda lived in, and her fear of scandal, what options did she have to avoid the loveless marriage she found herself in? What opportunities might there have been for a lady of wealth and intelligence to maintain a semblance of her lifestyle if she chose not to marry?

Part 3: Does this understanding make her character more understandable and tragic? Is Hedda's behavior at all justified by the times and society that she lived in? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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