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The Character Of Bernarda Alba In Lorca's "The House Of Bernarda Alba"

797 words - 3 pages

Bernarda Alba conveys an array of distinctive characteristics, however it is her stubborn conservative nature that enables the illustration of the oppression of women created by equivocal Spanish traditions in Lorca's dramatic play, House of Bernarda Alba. The character of Bernarda becomes acquainted with readers through the method of indirect presentation as Lorca gives the reader no analysis or exposition regarding her. Essentially, Bernarda's eccentric traits are thrust upon the reader by means of her physical and verbal actions. This can be seen with the case of her notion of superiority to others when she says "The poor are like animals-they seem to be made of different stuff." As the plot progresses, the reader discovers that Bernarda is a static character, one who's personality remains constant throughout the course of the play. Bernarda also seems to exhibit the attributes of an antagonist as she.. Lorca immediately utilizes his ability to build up tension with the anticipated arrival of Bernarda as her servants introduce her as being a "tyrant over everyone around her". Bernarda under the shadow of the church and the tyranny bred from a need to protect the reputation of the family represses her daughters by enforcing an eight_year mourning period. "For eight years of mourning, not a breath of air will get in this house from the street." Bernarda exhibits strong traditional values and uses her autocratic status to instill these values in her five daughters. "That's what happened in my father's house_and in my grandfather's house". Throughout the play it seems that Bernarda is a dictator that is consumed with keeping her daughters in line. Her controlling nature is prevalent throughout play and is especially seen with regard to her restrictive attitude towards the love lives of her daughters. "For a hundred miles around there's no one good enough to come near them. The men in this town are not of their class." She endows the duty of choosing husbands for her daughters upon herself It is Bernarda's conceited temperament that pervades the house consuming the everyone around her. "My blood won't mingle with the Humanas' while I live! His father was a shepherd." The daughters know and blame this type of supercilious act for their deterioration, "but we rot inside because of what people might say". Bernarda's arrogance is also the...

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