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4.2.Individual Psychology in Hedda Gabler80
4.2.1.Social Interest in Hedda Gabler83
4.2.2.Life Style in Hedda Gabler87
4.2.3.The Final Goal in HeddaGabler90
4.2.4.Feeling of Inferiority in Hedda Gabler92
4.2.5.Fictional Finalism and Striving Towards Superiority in Hedda Gabler94
4.3.Feminist Psychology in Hedda Gabler96
4.3.1.Feminist Jurisprudence in Hedda Gabler99
4.3.2.Masculine Protest in Hedda Gabler100
4.3.3.Feminism and Disability in Hedda Gabler102
Chapter Five: Conclusion105
5.2.Findings and Implications107
5.3. Suggestions for Further Research110
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1. General Overview
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is a Norwegian playwright and poet. He belongs to the school of realism, but he is not afraid to be unrealistic. His works include Brand (1866), Peer Gynt (1867), An Enemy of the People (1882), Emperor and Galilean (1873), A Doll’s House (1879), HeddaGabler (1890), Ghosts (1881), The Wild Duck (1884), Rosmersholm (1886), and The Master Builder (1892).There are melodramatic devices like secret revealing letters. People enter and exit just when Ibsen needs to continue on to the next scene and bring on new opinions. His goal is to interrogate ideas, to deal with individuals, to make characters think about their society rather than presenting photographic reality.
Ibsen tried to incorporate as much prose writing in his plays as possible without losing the story’s focal point. He tried to combine social and psychological problems in realistic contemporary settings of this plays; plays that deal with such problems are called problem plays. During his life, he went through three separate writing periods: Romantic, Social, and Symbolist. His radical views condensed in his plays give an insight into a life meaning.
Ibsen’s themes were similar to those of early Greek plays which focused on a certain issue and questioned the ethical morality of a situation.
Henrik Ibsen prepared A Doll’s House during Christmas. His story of emancipation and defeat takes place during a period associated with cheerfulness and family reunion. The Christian tradition associates Christmas with redemption and hope. Ibsen constructed a story in the tradition of realism to illustrate a different method of deliverance. As a practical method Ibsen preached the liberation of the individual, especially about the woman. He emphasized the principle of heredity. He made many studies of confused minds and analyzed the mutual relationships that of husband and wife harshly.
Nora Helmer is apparently happily married to Torvald. However she had to manage to catch some money for the journey privately and so borrowed it from Krogstad. When the play opens, Nora’s old friend Mrs. Linde, has already arrived in the town to look for a job, and Nora tells her that Torvald gives her a post at the bank. However this means that Krogstad loses his job at the bank. Krogstad in hopelessness goes to Nora and intimidates to tell Torvald about the loan unless he is permitted to keep his post. Torvald understands what has happened, and responds with anger and repugnance. Nora has begun to understand that her marriage is not what she has always thought and in the course of a dramatic conversation with Torvald she decides that her most important and only task is to go out into the world on her own to live without being afraid to study and learn about herself and society.
HeddaGabler is a play that published in 1890 by Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Tesman is the daughter of General Gabler, who died without leaving her anything. She has a fellowship in the history of art. She has been brought up by his two aunts, Julle, and Rina. At the beginning of the play, Hedda and Jorgen have just returned from a long honeymoon. Jorgen has spent his time working on records while Hedda, as she confides to their friend Judge Brack has been bored on her honeymoon. She becomes pregnant, a fact she has so far concealed from her surroundings. Jorgen is met on arrival by the bad news that he is going to have to compete for the chair with one of Hedda’s former admirers, EilertLovborg. The latter is known to be a bohemian, gifted, but prone to drinking too much. In recent years, however, he has lived quietly and soberly, and written two theses inspired by and in collaboration with Thea Elvsted.
At the beginning of the play, he has arrived in the city, bringing one of the manuscripts with him. Thea, who is deeply in love with him, has left her husband and followed him. In the course of barely two days, Hedda stages a number of happenings with dramatic consequences. She gets Lovborg to go to a “stag party” at Judge Brack’s and get drunk. During the festivities, he loses the manuscript of his new book. JorgenTesman finds it and gives to Hedda to look after, but Hedda does not tell Lovborg this. Instead, she burns the manuscript and gives him one of her father’s pistols, telling him to shoot himself “beautifully”. Far from this, Lovborg is accidentally shot at a brothel, and Brack, who knows where the pistol came from, uses this knowledge to try to blackmail Hedda into becoming his mistress. Thea and Tesman find close companionship in the work of reconstructing Lovborg’s manuscript on the basis of notes Thea has kept. When Hedda realizes that she is in Brack’s power and has nothing more to live for, she shoots herself with the second of the General’s pistols.
Alfred Adler focuses on the importance of equality in impeding different forms of psychopathology, and supported the development of social interest and democratic family structures for raising child. Adler stated unequivocally that social interest is the criterion of mental health. He based this finding solely on his observations as a psychiatrist that mentally healthy persons feel at home on this earth with all its advantages and disadvantages, and act as true fellowmen; that is, they demonstrate a developed social interest.(Edward Hoffman,The drive for self: Alfred Adler and the founding of individual psychology48).However, Adler was also among the first in the field of psychology to claim in favor of feminism making the dynamics of power between men and women is crucial to understand human psychology. He sustained that human psychology is psychodynamic in nature, yet unlike Freud’s metapsychology, which accentuates instinctual demands, in his theories human psychology is led by goals and fueled by an unknown power. The concept of social interest is in opposition to one’s private interests or concerns. Alfred Adler wrote “We are not determined by our experiences, but are self-determined by the meaning we give to them; and when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life, we are almost certain to be misguided to some degree. Situations do not determine meanings. We determine ourselves by the meanings we ascribe to situations.” (Alfred Adler, What Life Could Mean to You37)The person’s style of life is the set of personal narratives one has devised in order to cope with being in the world. If one has social interest then one evidences or enacts a useful style of life.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
The present thesis attempts to study Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and HeddaGablerin terms of Adlerian theories of Psychoanalytic Feminism regarding Social Interest. It defines the process of constructing a female framework; where women are producers of “textual meaning” including the psychodynamics of female creativity, linguistics and the problem of a female language. Adlerargues that such psychological force underlies human behavior, especially the dynamic relations between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation. Alfred Adler claims that there is a relation between masculinity and femininity or dynamic power between men and women who are crucial for understanding human psychology.
The 19th century saw a wide spread movement of women in reaction to the emergence of true refinement for better education. They wanted to have good education to work outside the home, for a reform of the laws affecting married women, and for liberty from limitation of duties such as attention to husband, keeping her children clean and attending to domestic arrangements.Marion Reid in her book A Plea for Women comments on “difficulties many women face in obtaining the means of a good substantial education” (Reid 42).
Reid is careful to acknowledge women’s domestic responsibilities though she claims that ” most women go about their household duties in a cold, hard, mechanical, and loveless way but there is no reason why women should be limited to domesticity” (Reid 42). A married woman has no right even over her property also her children as well are husband’s property. Bernard Shaw in The Quintessence of Ibsenism says that:
In 19th century United States, feminism emerged out of the anti -slavery movement in which women were very active.Where19th century liberal feminists concentrated on political and legal issues, cultural feminists examined institution such as religion, marriage and home. (Shaw 46)
Adler developed a theory that can explain the characters’ actions in A Doll’s House. Adlerian theories can best be studied by analyzing the characters of A Doll’s House The most significant motivation for one’s actions is provided by friends and family as the concern for them makes one to do whatever he can to keep them satisfied or please them. The influence of family and friends may also affect one’s view of life, and this would affect one to act differently in order to vary his or her new attitude towards life.
An individual is part of a larger whole that is the society, which means that one must live up to society’s expectations to gain respect and acceptance. This demonstrates how a social setting can influence one’s behaviors. One’s primary goal in life is to gain acceptance and to feel significant. The determination to be a perfect individual forces one to act in certain ways. Adler argues his vision of society: “Social feeling means above all a struggle for a communal form that must be thought of as eternally applicable… when humanity has attained its goal of perfection… an ideal society amongst all mankind, the ultimate fulfillment of evolution” (Adler, The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler 257). Adler follows this pronouncement with a defense of metaphysics:
I see no reason to be afraid of metaphysics; it has had a great influence on human life and development. We are not blessed with the possession of absolute truth; on that account we are compelled to form theories for ourselves about our future, about the results of our actions, etc. Our idea of social feeling as the final form of humanity – of an imagined state in which all the problems of life are solved and all our relations to the external world rightly adjusted – is a regulative ideal, a goal that gives our direction. This goal of perfection must bear within it the goal of an ideal community, because all that we value in life, all that endures and continues to endure, is eternally the product of this social feeling (Adler 271).
As Adler argues in his theories the woman at home is just as a doll that has no rights even over her properties. Nora herself says to her husband about her bad situation; he also feels she cannot do her tasks as others expect her. “Indeed you were perfectly right. I am not fit for the task. There is another task I must undertake. First I must try and educate myself- you are not the man to help me in that” (Ibsen, A Doll’s House Act III112). Nora thinks no one can help her, even her husband and her children want her for taking care of themselves, for doing tasks that Torvald also denies. There is a kind of contradiction here, on the one hand the husband wants her as a doll that does orders and on the other hand he does not accept her and he thinks she cannot do her tasks well.
1.3. Significance of the Study
Accorrding to psychoanalytical feminism theory, the Adlerian conception of social interest studies Henrik Ibsen’s drama, A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, by analyzing dialogues, character’s action, and the style of writing as a series of factors that demonstrate human beings by nature are social and this fact is irrelevant to gender. Social interest is a feeling of community, an orientation to live cooperatively with others, and a lifestyle that values the common good above one’s interests and desire. One can enact his social interest by fulfilling his chosen social role.
Adler also calls his approach individual psychology. One’s style of life includes the set of one’s choices and what one choice in turn depends on one’s style of life. It follows that a person cannot be biologically or environmentally predisposed or determined. People can make individual choices only within the context of a well-developed social milieu. In this story, the situations change the process of Nora’s life but Nora because of her gender that is female wants to change her life style. Finally, her view of the world has changed, and she decides to leave even her children to win the liberation, her rights and whatever she was deprivedof.
Adler is committed to a theory of motivation. If one pursues social interest, then one has a motive for doing so. An example of a motive implementing social interest is altruism. Nora is the symbol of altruism, when she has that motivation and the feeling of altruism to help her friend, but again the situation and frightening led her to the sense of uselessness. People are motivated to do work for a variety of reasons, only a small subset of which are altruistic. Humans may advance social interest without necessarily being altruistic, just as many generous people may act in a way that does not promote social interest. Adler’s view of the woman and her feeling about sense of happiness is something that depends to her trend as a mankind, he demonstrates that:
It is clear that a social person is much closer to happiness than the isolated person striving for superiority. Individual Psychology has very clearly pointed out that everyone who is deeply unhappy, the neurotic and the desolate person stem from among those who were deprived in their younger years of being able to develop the feeling of community, the courage, the optimism, and the self-confidence that comes directly from the sense of belonging. This sense of belonging that cannot be denied anyone, against which there are no arguments, can only be won by being involved, by cooperating, and experiencing, and by being useful to others. (Adler,The Pattern of Life 52)
Unlike Freud, Adler stresses choice and responsibility, meaning in life, and the striving for success, completion, and perfection. The woman declares her independence from her husband control, and this shows the fight of women in those periods to obtain their rights. When her husband understands about her debt, Nora wants to know whether he does like her for saving their life. Nora according to his idea struggles to obtain her perfect role as a mother, wife, useful social character and the most important one the woman in equal right with her husband. She wants to change their relationships while he investigates the relations:
There are two kind of moral law, two kinds of conscience, one in man and a completely different one in woman. They do not understand each other; but in a matter of practical living the woman is judged by man’s law, as if she were not a woman but a man. (EgilTornqvist, Ibsen: A Doll’s House 1)
Feminism is not a new political force; its origins can be followed back to the abolitionist movement before the Civil War. Fighting to end slavery, women became conscious of their legal disabilities. From these anti-statist roots, the women’s movement eventually divided over such issues as sex, the family, and war. Ibsen in A Doll’s House determines the characteristic of the woman in that society. He explains the movement of woman in the form of drama, from an independency of woman in relation to the society, to masculine society that the laws made by men. Adler along with feminism defines his theories that analyzes the condition of the woman according to her natural right as a human being that could be known useful without any influence of sex.
1.4. Approach and Methodology
The purpose of this research is to examine feminism as a philosophical position with a view of Adlerian theories of Psychoanalytic Feminism regarding Social Interest. The research will be to review and critique the philosophical viewpoints, to compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses, and then to discuss how and whether they might have relevance to psychodynamic approach and personal psychology. This research will provide the knowledge about the main aspects of Henrik Ibsen’s plays according to Adlerian view and also help those peoples who are linked with professional work in the field of literature.
Social Interest is the name given to social science and philosophical methodology which seeks to interpret the meanings of given social and political contexts and the significance of discrete social and political phenomena and human experience more generally. Intellectual giving two opposite tendencies occurs throughout the culture, on issues such as unwanted pregnancy, abortion rights, environmentalism, sex and race politics. Adlerian reading of this story leads the reader to pay attention to all the aspects of life style in the society that the woman has no right except the housekeeper while she endeavors to alter her life style.
EgilTornqvist states that “The two concepts were certainly exceedingly intertwined when he wrote A Doll’s House- as Nora’s conviction that she is first and foremost a human being indicates the connotation being that as a woman she fights for human rights” (6). Nora informs her husband that she will no longer want his control on her life. When Torvald cited her duties as wife and mother, Nora answered she has other duties.
This Thesis asserts that in Adler’s view the three greatest problems in life that a person must face are, sex, social relations, and work. According to Alfred Adler, men and women are equal because both sexes are born helpless. Biology, in Adler’s opinion, is not absolute destiny to one’s life, but rather a way to shape oneself. He speculated that an individual’s social context and situation had as much to do with his psychological health as the influences of his childhood and his particular sexual drives. Adler also remarks on the way that gender politics pervaedes society that knows feminism as a reaction to masculine domination. To reach the purposes and clarify these cases, the following questions are to be answered:
1. Is social interest inborn or does one has to instill it in people? How could it define in the protagonist?
2. Will she use the pretend experiences to inspire herself to create encouraging and fulfilling reality experiences as a woman?
3. Who does in self-interest try to achieve personal gain? Which form of that, is seen: political power, financial wealth? Can it even be to satisfy her own desires and drives?
4. Does the woman have a psychological health? Who should modify self- destructive behavior?
5. What is her self -perception according to Adler? Is it inferior or superior?
6. In which way does the protagonist as individual interact with society?
7. What is the nature of psychodynamic action in social interest she experiences?
8. To what extent does the individual psychology involve in Ibsen’s process of drama for his view of feminism?
On the basis of these questions, which should be put point by point, naturally and progressively, there is always formed a picture of the woman personality. By this the woman’s errors, though they are certainly not justified, will be made quite intelligible. When mistakes are discovered they could be explained in a psychoanalytical feminism view.
1.5. Review of Literature
There is no doubt that A Doll’s House has long been seen as a turning point in our century’s most important social struggle, the fight against the dehumanizing depression of women, Nora’s final leave away from all her traditional social obligations is the most famous dramatic statement in fictional description of this effort; So in reading responses to and interpretations of the feminist aspects of this play, one frequently comes across statements like the following:
Patriarchy’s socialization of women into servicing creatures is the major accusation in Nora’s painful account to Torvald of how first her father, and then he, used her for their amusement. . . how she had no right to think for herself, only the duty to accept their opinions. Excluded from meaning anything, Nora has never been subject, only object. (Templeton, Ibsen’s Women 142).
There are examples of women in public and private life that benefit from situations that exist because of the effect of feminist theories, social movements, and political organizations. In Nora’s whole life, she was treated like a doll; too weak to do anything serious, too flimsy to be troubled with real business. She was the wife, mother, and homemaker. The only duties she was perceived as capable of were running home. Many women tried to fill this position of the perfect housewife. Templeton argues that “Ibsen’s contemporaries saw it as a deeply feminist play and would be surprised to read some modern male criticism” (Templeton, Ibsen’s Women73).
According to Templeton, other criticisms of Nora have turned around the reality that Nora commits a crime by copying the papers to get the loan that saves her husband’s life, ignoring the fact that this is an entirely well-intentioned act which is considered a crime because of Nora’s gender. Some critics may argue that feminism has not seen in A Doll’s house, and what we see is actually about human rights. Professor Christopher T. Walsh declares:
A Doll’s House addresses a natural human longing for happiness boosting the individual’s desire for authentic love and self-realization without any place for gender, which means Nora could play a man’s role as well, neglecting any feminist movement. Nora is not happy because, even though Torvald’s kindness cheers her up, she doesn’t love him as a human being. (Walsh, “A Doll’s House: The pursuit of happiness as individuals without gender Feminism or humanism?”1)
However, in the story Nora had an oppressive father, and then later she went to her oppressive husband, Torvald. An argument could also be made that the roles could be inverted. A man could have been grown up by a dictator mother then later on have married a dictator wife. However, I do not think that is true. There are just so many points to support the fact that feminism is a critical important part of Ibsen’s play. It is obvious in the way that Torvald speaks to Nora. We recognize it through the names that he calls her, the fact that he never has a serious conversation with Nora because she is a woman, and she would not understand. Walsh unlike Alfred Adler and other critics demonstrate that there is any clue to conduct the reader into feminist study. He asserts:
A Doll’s House does not imply any kind of sexism and therefore feminism. The different roles the two sexes had at the time did not mean that one was more valuable or worthy than the other. Nora was looking for true self-realization after leaving Torvald. She wanted freedom from Torvald’s fake marriage and to become an individual. (Walsh 2)
Many critics argue that A Doll’s House is feminist because the ideas of gender are always present as a consequence of biological deference between both sexes. In Walsh’s idea, there is no feminism point but there are many differences in roles. They based their marriage on honesty. He justifies his opinions seriously by resorting to many reasons:
One of the reasons of why the play is about humanism and not feminism is that Torvald and Nora could switch roles because both are individuals that long for self-realization and authentic love. Torvald could have had the same change that Nora had even though he is a man. The pressure that society did on married couples of the time is applicable to both sexes exactly the same way. (Walsh 3)
Unlike this belief, there are many questions that can be solved through it. How many women have lived most of their married life in the way that they just tolerate to be a good companion for their husbands and then they get to the points that cannot continue with no personal strength to get a divorce? Joan Templeton replies as following:
He most betrays his ignorance when he perceives as a contradiction the notion that although woman is biologically different from man she is not inferior to him. From the standpoint of logic alone, difference is not inequality; from the standpoint of feminism, this fact is the most crucial in existence. (Templeton,Ibsen’s Women362)
Finally in the view of many critics like Adlerian feminists in term of social interest the protagonist is a woman who tries to reach her rights as a human and as a woman. Ibsen chooses the house as the setting because he wants to show this woman is socially confined. According to Social Interest theory, the ways Nora interact with her husband and others can conduct her toward individual gain or collective goals. On the other hand she is a woman who is deprived of many certain rights, but the only thing that can save her,isunderstanding of herself as a identity with social interest and social life and also the real personality.
1.5.1. Definition of Key Terms
In this thesis there are some key terms that should be explained. The most important one is the term that is defined by Alfred Adler as a psychoanalytic feminism concept that conducts the reader to new view f reading A Doll’s House.
Conscious Motivation: Being conscious is to be aware of one’s environment and existence, thoughts and emotion New studies by neuroscientists, philosophers and psychologists studied to try and understand emotion and its contribution to the functioning of consciousness.When we are conscious of something, we can get into a position where we can solve our problem and at the same time arise with a better solution. Performance in conscious motivation is measured by announcing including instructions; participants are asked to use their perceived or remembered information to announce their results (Schacter, Psychology 46-58).
Femininity: It also called womanliness or womanhood is a set of characteristics, behaviors, and roles associated with girls and women. Femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This makes it distinct from the simple definition of the biological female sex, like women, men, and transgender people can all exhibit feminine characteristics. Behavioral traits considered feminine include gentleness, sympathy, and sensitivity, though traits associated with femininity often vary basing on location and context, and include a variety of social and cultural factors. (Hale Martin; Stephen Edward Finn, Masculinity and Femininity in the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A34-61)
Inferiority and Superiority: Adler argued that all of life’s problems are social problems and that mental health is supported by the courage to declare social interest He viewed each person as a unique individual influenced by primary caregivers, family and community relationships. Individual Psychology emphasizes the creativity of the individual, community feeling, and personal responsibility. Adler advanced an understanding of the relationship between inferiority feelings and striving for superiority. Arguing for equality between the sexes, Adler proposed that masculine opposition occurs in response to power vigorous and compensatory striving. If a man always felt inferior, then he might improve the aim of wanting to become superior. Now if the man had enough social interest he might attempt to succeed in life in order to become superior to others but if he lacked social interest then he might be a criminal (Alfred Adler, Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler 209-213).
Psychodynamics: This is the theory and systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, especially the dynamic relations between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation. Sigmund Freud developed “psychodynamics” to describe the processes of the mind as streams of psychological energy in a natural complex brain. It includes all the theories in psychology that see human functioning based upon the interaction of forces within the person, particularly unconscious, and between the different structures of the personality. Adler affirmed that human psychology is psychodynamic in nature, yet unlike Freud that emphasized instinctual claims, human psychology is conducted by objectives and motivated by an unknown creative force. Like Freud’s instincts, Adler’s fictive goals are largely unconscious (John Bowlby, Attachment and Loss 13-23).
Social Interest: The social interest is a theory that attempts to explain the relationship between a person and the people he deals with in his society. Social interest is the certain for all the natural weaknesses of human beings. Social interest is a way of life; it is an optimistic feeling of confidence in oneself and a genuine interest in the prosperity and happiness of others. The role it plays in individual life is fictional goals and striving for superiority as a fundamental fact (Alfred Adler, Social Interest: A Challenge to Mankind 12-14).
Life Style: psychiatrist Alfred Adler used the term Life Style as one of the several constructs describing the dynamics of the personality. It reflects the individual’s unique, unconscious, and repetitive way of responding to (or avoiding) the main tasks of living: friendship, love, and work. This style, rooted in a childhood prototype, remains consistent throughout the life unless it is changed through depth psychotherapy. (Alfred Adler, Understanding Human Nature 79-82)
1.5.2. Limitation/ Delimitation
Delimitations include purposeful and planned steps to narrow the focus of study thesis. There are several delimitations in this research project. First though some researchers have examined the impact of others’ behavior on the role of woman, this thesis seeks to examine the interaction, social behavior of the woman, life style, and conscious motivation for the formation of thepersonality of a female character. Second though father or husband’s presence in her life as dictators, this study only tries to analyze the aspects of woman’s personal psychology that can challenge these environmental problems. Third, this study will only target social behavior, reactions, psychodynamic and feminine aspects of the character.