The Usage of the Motif of Eyes in Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba

The Usage of the Motif of Eyes in Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba

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The Usage of the Motif of Eyes to Illustrate Defiance, Effects of
Repression and Confinement, and Foreshadow in Federico Garcia Lorca’s
The House of Bernarda Alba

Although the human body functions the best when all five senses work,
the sense of sight is arguably the most important of the senses. With
that intact, it is definitely easier to get by because one will always
be aware of the events occurring around him or her. In Federico Garcia
Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba”, the motif of eyes and sight is
prevalent, and is used for various purposes: to show rebellion against
a greater force, to show the effects of repression and confinement,
and as well as a way of foreshadowing. In the play, Lorca could be
said to be establishing that confinement and repression from a greater
force can lead to one’s end, and through the way he uses the motif of
vision, he is continuously reinforcing that idea.

Because of the authoritarian figure of Bernarda Alba, a strict mother
who confines her five adult daughters within the four walls of her
house, subtle rebellion, usually through what they see, is the one
method that her daughters use to defy her. For instance, Adela, the
youngest of all the daughters, once told on her sister, Angustias, “I
saw her looking out through the cracks of the back door” (Lorca 166).
Here, she was referring to Angustias spying on the men outside their
house, which could also suggest that she is looking out from the
boundaries that her mother had set. This is an act of rebellion
against her mother because firstly, she is disobeying her, since she
knows her mother disapproves of it, and secondly, she is aware that
snooping around during her father’s funeral is wrong, and perhaps even
i...


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...he
motif of eyes and vision to illustrate defiance against a domineering
force, the effects of a greater force on the repressed, as well as a
porthole into the future. Although this was not mentioned previously,
Lorca also emphasized this motif through other things, such as the
materialistic issues such as class, wealth and beauty. Bernarda had
not let one of her daughters marry because the man was of a lower
class than them. Also, despite the fact that others kept emphasizing
Angustias’ ugliness, she was the only one with the marriage proposal
because she had money. Thus through this idea that materialism counts,
Lorca could have been suggesting that what is perceived and seen plays
a great role in the way people act. In all, the presence of this motif
of eyes shows that vision is important in keeping one aware of the
events occurring in the environment.

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