Society, and its influences upon the characters, plays a pivotal role
in the development of the story in Federico Lorca's "The House of
Bernarda Alba" and Isabel Allende's "The House of the Spirits." Though
the characters in each literary work were influenced by a range of
societal pressures, three major influences dominate both works. The
Church, male dominance over women, and socio-economic status (in other
words, one's social class) are all sources of the greatest societal
pressures upon the characters. In order to understand why these
societal pressures had such a great influence upon the characters, it
is important to understand the setting of each story.
"The House of Bernarda Alba" is set in a small village in rural Spain
at about the same time as the play was written, which was just before
the Spanish Civil War. In rural Spain, like many rural areas across
Europe, traditional values and social systems were prevalent among the
small villages. As a result, these rural areas, like much of European
society at the time, were largely backwards in their social structure
with class divisions still existent and society dominated by males.
Also, as is quite apparent in the play, religion in the form of the
Catholic Church had a huge influence over the lives of the people.
"The House of Bernarda Alba" portrays the lives of five sisters living
in a village in rural Spain who have been heavily repressed by the
society that they live in. They live in a restricting and unforgiving
society where men exercise great control over women, the Church wields
such an influence that it can ostracize individuals that do not
... middle of paper ...
pressures have upon a society.
[i] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 47.
[ii] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 48.
[iii] Allende, Isabel. The House of The Spirits. Page 3.
[iv] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 37.
[v] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 22.
[vi] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 21.
[vii] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 43.
[viii] Allende, Isabel. The House of The Spirits. Page 146-147.
[ix] Lorca, Federico. The House of Bernarda Alba. Page 5.
Allende, Isabel. The House of The Spirits. Bantam Books: New York,
Lorca, Federico Garcia. The House of Bernarda Alba. Nick hern Books
Limited: London, 1999.
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