The House of Bernarda Alba

What kinds of reactions we see the oppressive presence of Bernarda Alba? Think especially martyrdom, Poncia, Maria Josefa and Adela. What these figures suggest about social conditions in an authoritarian country?

this was translated from spanish to english

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Bernarda's family is a landowning family and as such is wealthier than other families in the village. This explains much of both Bernarda's disdain for lower class people and her daughters' aloofness. La Poncia makes clear that the Alba family is only rich in the terms of a poor village, suggesting that they are not as wealthy as they believe. Lorca then is making a critical observation about the human need to keep others below, to find a way in which we can consider ourselves superior. The poor characters (the servants and La Poncia) are corrupted by these class distinctions and are made bitter in no small part because of their envy and their belief that the world has treated them unfairly by forcing poverty on them. Overall, Lorca's sympathy lies with the servants, in a tragic rather than political way: they are the underdogs, the ones whom fate has left with less freedom.


gradesaver's themes for the novel