Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition
Plot Summary of Blood Wedding
Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding is a tragedy focusing on a woman and the two men who love her. The play examines the societal norms that keep her from being with the man she loves. The power of desire is explored as the play unveils the consequences of gender roles and isolation. In this lesson, we'll go over the play's conflict, characters, and themes.
Blood Wedding is a tragedy about a young woman and two men fighting for her love. The Bride is in love with Leonardo, but their families do not get along, so Leonardo marries another woman. The Bride is also arranged to be married to another man, whom she doesn't love, but will marry to appease her family's wishes. Although Leonardo is married already, he confesses to the Bride that he is still in love with her. At first, she tells him to be silent, but then confesses that she still loves him, too.
Despite these revelations, she goes on with her marriage to the other man, but on the night of her wedding reception, she elopes with Leonardo. When their disappearance is revealed, the Mother commands that everybody search for them. In the forest that the Bride and Leonardo have fled into, the play takes a surrealistic turn. The Moon and Death work together to encourage the Bridegroom and Leonardo to kill one another. Leonardo and the Bridegroom meet and kill each other in a knife fight.
At the end of the play, the Bride returns to the church hoping the Bridegroom's Mother will kill her, but she doesn't. The play closes with both women reflecting on the deaths of the men. Before we move on, it should be noted that an alternate version of the play exists in which the Bride returns to town and is killed by the Mother to restore balance.
Our first character is that of the Bridegroom. He is happy and positive about marrying the Bride throughout the play. He comes from a wealthy family, owns a vineyard, and abides by the societal expectations of his culture. He is his mother's last surviving child and is overprotected because both his father and brother were murdered.
The Bride was engaged to Leonardo at age fifteen, but due to strife between the families, the marriage never took place. She attempts to be a dutiful daughter and marry the Bridegroom even though she doesn't love him, but fails to do so.
The Bridegroom's Mother is an elderly woman who gossips and shares information about her son's upcoming marriage to the Bride. She is vocal about traditional gender roles. She fears knives because knives killed her husband and other son and often goes into hysterical fits at the sight of a knife.
The Father is a conservative, wealthy man who grows alfalfa. He prefers the rural region because it isolates his daughter from society.
Leonardo Felix is the Bride's true love. He is hot-tempered and irrational. Leonardo has been in love with the Bride since childhood. Since the two never marry, Leonardo marries her cousin.
On the contrary, Leonardo's Wife is an innocent, prudent woman. She isn't aware of her husband's love for her cousin.
Mother-in-Law acts in a supporting role for Leonardo's Wife. She helps care for their son and reasserts the traditional role of a woman in society.
The Neighbor is a friend of Mother's. The Neighbor stops by the house to gossip or talk about town events.
The Girls come into the play to deliver news. Moreover, the Girls constantly speculate on their own futures.
The Moon is depicted as a woodcutter. The Moon works with Death to bring together Leonardo and the Bridegroom in order to spur the knife fight.
Death is written into the play as the Beggar Woman. Death foreshadows the knife fight between the Bridegroom and Leonardo. She communicates with the Moon and longs for gruesome deaths.
Theme: Gender Roles
Blood Wedding takes a hard look at the consequences of traditional gender roles. For example, the Mother, the Father, and the Mother-in-Law believe that women should stay at home and raise a family without access to the outside world. The consequences of these attitudes are seen in the Bride's struggle to fulfill her duty as a woman. The Bride is in love with Leonardo but could not marry him because of their family's conflicts. She's compelled to marry the Bridegroom because both families believe that it is the best thing for her to do. She knows that her new husband will support her even though she doesn't love him, but she is torn by her desire to be with Leonardo.
The play ends with the Bride neither fulfilling her duty as a 'good woman' nor getting what she desires because both men die. This is Lorca's way of arguing that forcing a person into a specific role has disastrous effects for the person and society.
Physical & Emotional Isolation
Physical and emotional isolation are present as another theme in Blood Wedding. Physical isolation of the women in the play highlights their emotional isolation. For example, the Bride's home is isolated from the rest of town, and her Father prefers it that way because he can control her engagement with society. She is emotionally alienated from her own feelings toward Leonardo, and the distance to town reduces the chance of seeing him. Thus, the physical separation from the town reflects her emotional isolation caused by the pressure to marry the Bridegroom.
Likewise, the Mother physically and emotionally ostracizes herself from society. She only comes out of the house to gossip and has a few intimate friends. The emotional isolation is caused by the deaths of her husband and son. She's unable to connect with others because of the trauma these deaths caused. By cloistering herself in the home, she is physically and emotionally isolated from society.
Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca is one of modern society's deepest tragedies. The conflict that arises between the Bride, Bridegroom, and Leonardo reflects on the consequences of traditional gender roles and physical and emotional isolation of individuals in society. Together, the characters and themes come together to deliver a surrealistic play that executes an argument against traditional gender roles.
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