Act II Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2482

Summary

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Scene
The scene opens in a slightly different white room, deep in the house. It is the room where the sisters sew and embroider. All the sisters sit sewing or embroidering, save for Adela, who is absent. Life is back to normal and the women are occupied. Poncia is with them.

Action
The sisters chat as they work. Magdalena alludes that Pepe el Romano’s initials will be needed on the sheet she is embroidering. Then Magdalena makes comments about Adela; the sisters are as prone to gossip as the neighbors. There is clearly animosity over Angustias’ inheritance and her courtship with Pepe el Romano; Magdalena and Angustias taunt each other, and Angustias brags that she will, “. . .soon be getting out of this hell!”

The gossip then becomes quite detailed. There is a disagreement over exactly when Pepe el Romano left Angustias’ window the night before. Magdalena seems to have hidden information and speaks ironically of one o’clock being “late.” Poncia and Amelia believe that Pepe el Romano left the household at 4 A.M.-- if this is the case, he was not with the woman he is courting.

Angustius then relates the story of her courtship in a matter-of-fact manner. The description does not sound very romantic. Nevertheless, Angustias is deeply moved; she had never been alone with a man at night. She downplays how handsome Pepe el Romano is.

Poncia then relates the circumstances when she was proposed too years ago. Although she does not mean for her story to contradict Angustias’s, the tale she relates has more passion. Her visitor approaches the wrought iron bars of the window and says: “Come here, so I can feel you!”

All the women laugh, but with a hint of fear; Bernarda might overhear them having fun. There should not be any laughing in Bernarda’s household.

Poncia continues her story and advice: According to Poncia, the attentions of a man only last some fifteen days after the wedding. Afterwards, he forgets about “the bed” and hangs out in a tavern– throughout the play, the women do not have a very high opinion of men and a woman’s fate after marriage. Poncia brags that she used to beat her husband and even killed his birds on one occasion. The sisters find this funny.

The sisters then call for Adela. In her absence they gossip. Angustias thinks Adela is envious of her. Martirio, who shares a common bedroom wall, seems to know better (note the irony with which she considered 1 A.M. “Late” above, as well as García Lorca’s comments as to Martirio’s tone).

Adela enters, claiming that she did not sleep well. She dismisses the gossip and says, “I’ll do what I want with my body.”

The sisters, except for Adela, exit to deal with a lace seller. Martirio glares at Adela as she leaves–remember the two share a common bedroom wall, and Martirio claims that Pepe el Romano left the property at 4 A.M. Poncia remains with Adela. They talk.

Adela complains that Martirio won’t leave her alone. She is always peeking into Adela’s room to see if she is sleeping. Indeed, the behavior borders spying. Adela then repeats that her body is for anyone who pleases her; she is not concerned with conventions and mores.

Poncia then makes a direct accusation: Adela’s body is for Pepe el Romano. Adela is shocked, but does not deny the charge. Instead she asks what Poncia knows. García Lorca, with this scene, has informed the audience of the impending tragedy.

The much older Poncia gives Adela some advice to gain Pepe el Romano in a more accepted manner: Adela should leave him alone for now and wait until Angustias marries him, and, then, inevitably, dies in childbirth– Angustias is too old and narrow-hipped for birth. Then, Pepe el Romano will behave just as other men: he will collect the wealth of his first wife and marry the...

(The entire section contains 2482 words.)

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Act I Summary and Analysis

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Act III Summary and Analysis