Real Woman

When a person is asked to describe typical features of character of a real woman he or she would probably say that a real woman should be kind, gentle, caring, charming, strong and etc. It is possible to continue the list of woman’s important features until the end of essay. However, the main goal of this paper is to describe three women depicted by the prominent writers, such as Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky and Henrik Ibsen. Their works, which are going to be analyzed, are “Simple Heart” (or “Simple Soul”), “Notes from Underground” and “Hedda Gabler”. All three pieces of literature have women as the main characters, whose destinies and chacter traits are being described by the authors.
The main character of “Simple Heart” is Felicite, whose main trait is wiliness and great desire to love. This woman is unable to live without love, and for this reason she finds a creature that she loves and cares for. The reason for saying creature is because at some point of her life Felicite love a parrot. When she was eighteen she had unsuccessful love affair with young man Theodore, who chose to get married with a rich lady rather than poor kind-hearted orphan Felicite. To live normally the girl has to love somebody, that’s why she starts to feel love for her mistress and mistress’s children, her nephew Victor, the old man that she took care of, and at last her parrot Loulou. Working as a servant Felicite does not possess any special qualities, besides that she is loving and caring. However, it is also possible to describe this woman as strong, because even when she lost people she loved she was able to overcome the pain, and not only to continue love, but also to find new person or non-person to love. The author himself described Felicite to be “as tender as fresh bread”. Felicite’s great need for love can be explained with the lack of love she experienced in childhood, due to the early death of her parents. Felicity didn’t notice when people were exploiting her, and thus continued to take care of them. Was she happy? She probably wasn’t, or maybe she was but in her own way, which remains unclear to the readers.
The next woman to be described will be Liza from Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground”. This book concentrates on the life of the Underground man and his relationship with female prostitute Liza. Liza is a girl of 20 years old, who left her home town Riga to continue living in St. Petersburg. She tries to earn money, but it is in vain, because she already owes money to the mistress of the brothel where she works. Though prostitutes are always considered to be disgraceful, dirty and wretched, possessing no good personal traits, Dostoevsky depicts Liza as loyal and loving lady, with great ability to forgive people. First encounter of Liza with the Underground man happens in the brothel where she works. The girl appears to be very ingenuous, as she believes that the Underground man has some feelings towards her. However, the only feeling that the Underground man possesses while saying about his “high feelings” is the desire to have sexual relationship with the girl. Being naive the girl gives him what he wants and continues to love him. Her love helps her to forgive the abusive things that the Underground man said to her and come to his house. Though the Underground man insults her again, she ingeniously forgives him and stays for the night at his house. The reason for which she stayed was her love towards the Underground man rather than desire to earn some money. However, the Underground man is too cruel to understand it, and in order to get rid of Liza he gives her money for the services she rendered to him and makes her live with the desire not to come back. Thus, it is possible to say that the main trait of Liza is her great ability to forgive, which makes her so sensitive and kind despite of her profession.
Having spoken about Felicite and Liza, it is necessary to describe the next woman named Hedda Gabler, who is the main character of the same name play by Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Gabler is a contradictory character. She is intelligent and charming, romantic and witty, sometimes cruel and possessing a very strong character. From my point of view, Hedda Gabler is the most realistic in comparison with Felicite and Liza. Henrik Ibsen depicted Hedda to be energetic and lively. It is possible to say that she is a noticeable character, who influences the lives of other people. This never happened to Felicite and Liza, who lived their lives quietly not really bothering anyone. Hedda’s character is bright and powerful, which makes her look like a real person rather than some poor and weak creature existing in the world but not living. "I want to have the power to shape a human being's destiny" [3], said Hedda to Eilert. Possessing a strong character Hedda still feels despair, which is shown to people by her constant anger and animosity, which people cannot understand. But she doesn’t suffer quietly. She tries to be happy, and when she doesn’t find the way out she shoots herself, not being afraid to be punished by God. I would probably like Hedda Gabler more if she didn’t commit suicide, but it wouldn’t have been a drama then.
1. Dostoevsky, Fyodor “Notes from Underground”.
2. Flaubert, Gustave “Simple Heart”.
3. Ibsen, Henrik “Hedda Gabler”.

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