Who is the Wild Duck?
The wild duck- an innocent animal wounded from someone else’s actions. From being shot in the wing it is now helpless; similar to how Hedvig is wounded from her mother’s actions of having an affair with Werle.
Hedvig is losing her eyesight which will leave her helpless by not being able to see the world or anyone around her. These two characters are both kept in an “artificial world” for instance, the wild duck is in the dark attic which Old Ekdal and Hjalmar have made into a forest, but the duck can not fly around or be free; on the other hand, Hedvig is living in a life of lies and deception from her mother never telling her, nor Hjalmar about Werle. Consequently, from the truth being shined in Hedvig’s life she could not handle losing Hjamlar’s love and the only way to escape it is through committing suicide. Old Edkal tells Hedvig that a “shot in the breast” is the best way to kill a duck; therefore, Hedvig shoots herself in the chest, concluding she is the wild duck (346). In contrast, the wild duck tried to drown himself when he knew he wouldn’t be able to fly again- his love, by trying to hold himself down by grabbing a piece of grass in the water.
In The Wild Duck Hedvig represents the wild duck through her helplessness and innocence. Their struggle in life resembles one another’s by loosing what they enjoy best the freedom to fly and the freedom to love. Henrik Ibsen always depicts these characters in the dark until the end and when the truth is revealed they both are unhappy, which is results in Hedvig’s death and the wild ducks continuous misery.