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The House Of Bernarda Alba Essay

1703 words - 7 pages

The House of Bernarda Alba

Federico Garcia Lorca was born in 1898 and died in 1936, he lived through one of the most troubling times of Spain's history. He grew up in Granada, Spain, and enjoyed the lifestyle and countryside of Spain. His father was a wealthy farmer and his mother was a school teacher and encouraged his love of literature, art, and music. He was an extremely talented man. A respectable painter, a fine pianist, and an accomplished writer. He was close friends with some of Spain's most talented people, including musician Manuel de Falla, and painter Salvador Dali. Lorca was a very liberal man who lived un dictatorship for most of his life. However, in 1931 Spain turned into more of a democracy, and was called "The Second Spanish Republic." However, fascist leader, Francisco Franco, was trying to gain control of Spain. Known as a leftist, Lorca was killed by Franco's forces. What are considered to be his three most important plays, referered to as folk tragedies were: Blood Wedding, Yerma, and the House of Bernarda Alba. They really drove home his feelings of the Spanish culture, and, in particular, its treatment of women.

"The House of Bernarda Alba" is set in Spain in the 1940's. It is definitely a very dramatic and very tragic play. Bernarda Alba is the tyrannical mother of five girls: Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Martitio, and Adela. At the opening of the play, we find out that Bernarda's husband has died, and the family is supposed to be in mourning for eight years. The trouble is that only Magdalena actually loved her father. The main focus of this play is to show just how unfair and unjust life was for Women in Spain during this time. Of the five daughters there is only one man who fit the bill according to Bernarda. His name is Pepe el Romano. He is supposed to marry Angustias, simply because she is the oldest and that's the way things are supposed to be. She is also the one to inherit her father's money. Pepe would come to the house and meet with Angustias, but we soon find out that he had something going on with another sister. He would meet with Angustias for a little while and then go and spend time with Adela, the youngest and most attractive of the sisters. This comes out when the other sisters say they hear Pepe leave at four in the morning, but Angustias insists that she only talked with him until midnight. Adela is the tragic hero in this play, as it would take a heart of stone not to feel badly for her. Not only can she not have Pepe, but she can't have any man. She must stay in mourning and take care of her mother until she dies. Bernarda is a nasty, mean, unsympathetic lady, and having to spend all your time loced up with her for the rest of her life is about as bad a punishment as I can think of. The meetings with Pepe continue until inevitably, things start to get out of hand. The sisters tell Bernarda that Pepe has been coming and staying late at night, and Angustias...

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