The symbolism of La Casa de Bernarda Alba

Bernarda Alba's house

"Bernarda Alba's house" It is perhaps the most transcendent play by Federico García Lorca and contains within itself a vast, significant and symbolic universe that revolves around the concept of freedom.

The drama arises from the conflict between Bernarda Alba, who represents the authority, and the desire to feel free from some of his daughters, especially Adela, the youngest of them.

Lorca, that lived in their own meats The sexual repression for their homosexuality perfectly presents us with a closed space in which carnal desire is treated as a sin and the women who inhabit it are condemned in advance not to know a man. Said prohibition weighs on them, making deviating from the guidelines set by the authoritarian Bernarda only lead to fatality. With Bernarda's husband dead, there are no men, nor should there be, and the ultimate power of everything rests on the mother herself, whose staff is nothing more than a phallic symbol that justifies said power.

The atmosphere is very reminiscent of that of a convent, given the seclusion of the virgin daughters within the space of their own house from which they barely leave and in which the figure of man is more than forbidden. Thus, certain symbology  marks this parallel: the white walls suggest virginity and the thick walls of the house certify the seclusion to which they are subjected

But desires do not understand dams, and the young woman Adela She takes her ardor to the last consequences, first trying to color with her dresses the permanent mourning of the house in a clear sign of rebellion and ultimately deciding that suicide is better than living without being able to unleash what beats in her chest. She loves and is also reciprocated, so she cannot conceive of life without her lover and therefore her heartbeat is unnecessary.

The play ends as it begins, with Bernarda ordering her daughters silence and asking that they save for them the pain for the suicide of the youngest of the sisters since, in their opinion, appearances and composure are clearly superior to the feelings that under no circumstances should come to light since that would be a shows weakness. This striking image is a clear criticism of the old morality that censors desires and the spontaneous in favor of an order more apparent than sincere that promotes a righteousness more hypocritical than virtuous.

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