Hedda from Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen and Chandara from Punishment by Rabindranath Tagore are two powerful women who seek refuge through suicide. Both women face circumstances that suppress their independent spirit, and yet with their death they claim victory above all and gain their freedom.
Hedda is a character of many qualities, she proves to be very intelligent and also confident with the ability to intimidate most of the characters within the play. She is also tricky in her motives, and in dire need of entertainment to rid her boredom; which has accrued due to the fact that she is a woman in a time that constrained them to the home.
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She knows that if she is with child it would act as another constraint on her freedom.
Brack is also the character that posses the biggest threat on Hedda’s freedom, “You want to be the cock of the walk.” She insinuates with a smile to him. After he agreed and stated that he would “fight for it with – every weapon at my disposal” she comes to a realization that she is in danger and states that “I’m deeply thankful you haven’t any kind of hold over me.”(Ibsen III.1504). After the death of Eilert, Brack reappears to discover that Hedda had given him the gun with which he was killed. This gave Brack power over Hedda and she exclaimed “Not free. Still not free!” (Ibsen IV.1517).
Her freedom was riddled by many things, and despite her trickery and manipulations she saw that she would be trapped forever, her mortal freedom had been exhausted. She was not built to be contained and so she redeemed her freedom the only way she could, “beautifully”; she took her father’s pistol and shot herself in the head.
Tagore’s character Chandara, like Hedda, is also a strong woman in a culture that oppresses them. Less of her nature can be derived due to the length of the story, however she is described as “buxom, well-rounded, compact, and sturdy”, in addition she is “amused and intrigued” (Tagore 1695) by everything, and is depicted as an aware person. Though these are accurate portrayals of her, the loudest is that of her action and her choice of death over life to remain in control and powerful.
Chandara is falsely accused of murdering Radha, her brother-in-law’s wife, by her beloved husband Chidam. His brother, Dukhiram, was the one responsible for her death, however Chidam reasons that “if I lose my wife I can get another, but if my brother is hanged, how can I replace him?” (Tagore 1695) This statement clearly depicts how important woman were to the society, it shows that his wife the one who he loved and swore allegiance to is an object and can easily be replaced.
Before the situation occurred Chandara and Chidam had a mutual relationship in which they both respected one another, however after Chidam asked her...