What are the characteristics of Adela? What does she represent?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In Federico García Lorca's La Casa de Berdarda Alba we find strong evidence of the use of Spanish Gothic characteristics that are more obvious in the female characters. In other words, it is the characters that bring out the literary devices more strongly than the plot or the setting alone.

An example of this is Adela. Adela is the youngest daughter of the bitter Bernarda Alba. She represents the world outside; a world where people can roam free, make choices, and accept both victories and defeats. As a young woman in love with Pepe, Adela symbolizes the freshness of youth complete with its growing passions, its fantasies, its dreams, and its hopes.

This is tragic, considering that Adela's mother is none other than Bernarda- a woman so negative, imposing, and paranoid that her idea of safety is to beat her daughters and keep them prisoners in their own homes.

Adela rebels against all of this as naturally as any other young woman would. When Pepe is killed and Bernarda attempts to strengthen her control of the family, Adela chooses to kill herself rather than to live her miserable life. Hence, Adela dies young, in love, and choosing to become free through death than imprisoned alive. That is a message in itself: Life is meant to be lived, not survived.

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sesh | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Adela, the youngest daughter of Bernarda is different from others. In act 1, she offers a green and red fan which s symbolical of freedom, erotic passion. She wears a green dress, disobeying Bernarda's imposition of eight years mourning period. She doesn't need to conform others. She says

"I don't want my body to dry up like yours, I want to get out!"

She says she wants to enjoy life,and she has all the courage to defeat Bernarda's authoritarianism. She is rebellious, she's full of emotions and unlike others Adela strives to get out from that hell.

She represents the free world which is covered to everyone by these thick white walls. She's highly imaginative.. Adela represents the untold, hidden emotions of all her sisters.

 

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