Silence in the House of Bernarda Alba by Garcia Lorca

Pages: 4 (1537 words) Published: September 20, 2012
The word “silence” is constantly repeated throughout the play. In fact, the very last word that comes out of Bernarda’s mouth is “silence.” What do you think this word can symbolize? In the play called “The House of Bernarda Alba” by Garcia Lorca, Bernarda Alba is a mother of five who silences her daughters and servants several times throughout the play. In many instances of the play, the word silence is used or is enacted, placing great significance to the word. If the word is taken out of context then one can infer that the word silence when said to someone symbolizes power. The word silence places the person who says it or yells it at a greater position than the person who it was said to. In other words, the person who says the word silence has more power or authority over the person spoken to. For example, if a parent utters the word silence to his child, he gets to higher state or authority than his child who stops what he is doing and listens to his parent. Silence is used throughout the play to enact power. At the beginning of the play, when Bernarda accompanies the townswomen into her house for a ceremonial ritual held for the funeral, the servant starts to cry and Bernarda yells silence to her. The servant then runs off and leaves the scene of the play. Magdalena, Bernarda’s second oldest daughter, was also silenced and made to stop crying during the funeral ceremony. During anytime throughout the play when Bernarda yells at her children, a silence abruptly occurs that fills the room and nobody dares to talk. It is at these moments that Bernarda has the most control over her children and is able to make them do what she wants. Silence is also a key element in the play that kept many of the neighbors from finding out what was going on in Bernarda’s house, therefore, preserving her image or honor in her town. For example, when one of her daughters takes Angustias’s photo of Pepe el Romano and hides it, a problem erupts and Angustias begins to call her...
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