Analysis of 'the House of Bernarda Alba' Essay

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| Analysis of extract from ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ | Act Three, pages 95 to 99 | | | English: World Literature: 2c Word Count: 1414 | BERNARDA: What does Pepe have to say? ANGUSTIAS: I find him distracted. He always talks to me as if his mind is on something else. If I ask him what’s wrong, he says: ‘We men have our own problems.’ BERNARDA: You shouldn’t ask him. And when you marry, less still. Speak if he speaks, and look at him when he looks at you. Do that and you won’t have disagreements. ANGUSTIAS: Mother, I think he’s hiding things from me. BERNARDA: Don’t try and find out what they are. Don’t ask him, and, above all, never let him see you cry. ANGUSTIAS: I ought to be happy but I’m not. BERNARDA:…show more content…
A whip and a mule for men’ can be seen as the reason for Angustias’ timid communications with Pepe el Romano as seen in the extract. Moreover, Bernarda’s ideals on social status are made clear when Lorca has her reveal the reason for her sending away Enrique Humanes. This was because ‘His father was a farmhand’, the effect of this being Martirio’s assurances that she will never marry. The uncertainties Bernarda’s eldest daughter, Angustias, feels about love, and her inexperience of this is revealed by her apprehensive questions and statement of ‘I ought to be happy but I’m not’. This naivety is emphasised by the all-woman cast. The play opens with the death of the house’s sole male inhabitant which furthers this impression and creates an ironic foreshadowing of the extreme conditions of siege which Bernarda forces upon her daughters. The distance between Bernarda and her eldest daughter is made apparent by the short answers Angustias’ confidences receive and the physical violence Bernarda directs at her when she strikes her with her stick in Act one. This, combined with the large sum Angustias inherits from her stepfather, intimates that she was favoured in his will because of some closer relationship; a possibility that she, like the Servant, was sexually taken advantage of. This adds a greater emphasis to the implication of hidden secrets held by the household. Later in the extract the blackness of the sky outside,
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