A Doll's House and the House of Bernarda Alba

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Federico Garcia Lorca's “The House of Bernarda Alba” and Henrik Ibsen's “A Doll's House” both protest against the confinement of women of their days. Although the Houses are set differently in Spain of 20th century and Norway of 19th century respectively, both the plays relate in illuminating their respective female protagonists, Adela and Nora, as they eventually develop a sense of individuality and self-expression and emerge as free individuals from repression. The authors’ attempts allow the reader audience to gain an insight into the social norms that each protagonist was pitted against. This heightens the tension as the action develops. Both Adela and Nora are inherently individualistic, and their innate nature is bared especially when they covertly display defiance in occasions of high social expectations. After observing her husband’s death, Bernarda declares a long period of mourning – according to the traditional societal beliefs – and orders her daughters to be confined within the walls of their house and to wear only black. But, Adela, disobeys her mother by cheerfully wearing a colourful dress of zealous green and by going out of the house “to look for what is [hers], what belongs to [her]” (Lorca 165) – Pepe el Romano. In A Doll’s House, while Mrs Linde expects, according to society, that “a wife can’t borrow without her husband’s permission,” (Ibsen 20) Nora leaks out her insubordinate action of borrowing. She even dares to forge her father’s sign, but more importantly, she individually decides for herself why she has to forge – to save “her husband’s life” (Ibsen 34) on her own. The pressure to comply with the traditional conventions of society induces the central characters of both the plays to masquerade. Appear... ... middle of paper ... ...dela’s rebellion commences with powerful self-expression: she confronts her mother and declares, “The shouting in this prison is over!” Then, she seizes and breaks her tyrant mother’s rod, deciding for herself that “no one gives [her] orders but Pepe.” (Lorca 167) She declares that “[she is] his woman” and starts to leave the house by ordering that “no one is going to stop [her]!” (Lorca 167) However, after hearing Martirio’s false words, Adela assumes that Pepe is dead; so to Adela, freedom of having sexual relationship with Pepe seems impossible to achieve, hence she chooses demise, freeing herself from the confinement of Bernarda’s House through death. Both Adela and Nora initially have their own ideas of freedom. However, each ultimately attains freedom that significantly differs from her initial desire. Works Cited The House of Bernarda Alba A Doll's House
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