Book Report On Federico García Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba)

Book Report On:

Federico García Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba)

By Eric Odynocki
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stuck five sisters ranging from the ages of twenty to forty and who almost all have the hots for the same bachelor with their busy-body domineering widowed mother in a provincial manor house during an unbearably hot summer? Oh, and don’t forget the stipulation that the mother is forcing her daughters into a period of mourning for eight years during which they can never leave the house and must wear stifling black dresses. All of this taking place, of course, in a small, insignificant town where the slightest social faux pas can ignite the most violent of scandals.

If you have been tortured by such a perplexing and haunting scenario, worry not! Thankfully, Federico García Lorca has already explored the possibilities for the outcome of such a predicament for you in his play The House of Bernarda Alba. Originally written in Spanish but graciously translated time and time again into English, The House of Bernarda Alba not only provides the resolution for the above stated issue, but does so in a suspenseful and dramatic manner. Conflicts between desire and repression, self-expression and conformity and (the icing on the cake) gender issues are analyzed through this play. Although some of the striking flare and bite of the diction in Spanish is somewhat lost in the English translations, the overall impression of the play is still felt.

So, I would recommend reading this play to anyone interested in the aforementioned thematic questions or for anyone who thrives on plots involving back-stabbing, selfish motives and dirty little secrets. The House of Bernarda Alba is a pleasure to read and see on stage for both the everyday entertainment-seeker and the intellectual.

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