‘The house of Bernada Alba’ was written by Garcia Lorca in the 20th century before the beginning of the Spanish civil war. Lorca uses the play to describe what it was like for women living at the time of the civil war. The play is about a family of women in which all the daughters all love the same man, a marriage is planned between the oldest daughter Angustias and the man, Pepe el Romano, however this marriage is for money not for love, Pepe actually loves Adela.
In the play there is a strong male influence however no men actually speak in the play, it always shows men to be outside in the open whilst the women cooped up inside in the house. This shows that women at the time the play was written were oppressed and weren’t aloud to be ‘free’. In the play we see a lot of religion however we dont see much Christianity as the house seems to be lacking the simple moral rules set up by the Christian faith. There is a lot of imagery in the story however a lot of it stems from religion, for example the play begins with the ringing of church bells, they cause the servant to get a headache.
We see this as she says “The sound of those bells is right inside my head. ” This quote could be seen as symbolism as at the time the church was very oppressive, this is where we see the church and religion take an important role in the play straight away. We also see religious connotations from the play through the set, in the introduction to the play it says “An extremely white inner room in Bernarda’s house. Solid walls. Arched doorways with jute curtains edged with tassels and ruffles. ” Through the fact that the colour white is prominent, we can find out many things about the house, and the family that live in the house.
In religion white is perceived as being a religious colour that priests wear which symbolizes purity. Another way that the colour white could be perceived would be through connotations of virginity and innocence, which is ironic as we see throughout the play. We see the lack of religion in the household when we see the lack of charity from both Bernada and the servant. On page 9 it says “Since now she’s not eating, she wants us all to starve! ” this shows that Bernada is not willing to share her food with her servants even though she isn’t eating it.
We also see the lack of charity from the servant with the beggar woman, it says in the text “That’s the way out. Today’s scraps are for me! ” Both Bernada and the servant are committing one of the seven deadly sins here by showing signs of gluttony by not sharing there food and keeping all to themselves. This shows that as the bible shows, ‘Do onto others as you would be done by’ comes into this quite nicely as the servant is being completely contradictory. It is clear that Bernada is not very Christian as she clearly insults poor people and how they live, in the text it says “The poor are like animals.
It’s as if they’re made of different stuff. ” This comparison of poor people to animals clearly disagrees with what it says in the bible where it says to treat everyone with respect no matter what. We clearly see religion, or a lack of Christianity when we see the men standing outside in the courtyard after the funeral, and the women stuck inside, enclosed. We hear a lot of gossip and smutty talk from both the men and women which is clearly unchristian, they are all guilty of impure thoughts.
Also at this point Bernada says that the only man that women should be looking at in church is the priest as hes wearing a skirt and therefore emasculating him, this is obviously unchristian. In the kitchen we hear all of the women go into prayer for the departed, this is ironic as none of them really care. This therefore means that they are talking Gods name in vein, none of them care about what has gone on they are just performing a ritual for the departed, it could be seen as Bernada is ordering God what to do by going through with this ritual.