Discuss the Role of Society and Honour Codes in "Blood Wedding" by Garcia Lorca.

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Role of Society and Honour codes in causing conflicts in blood wedding

The internationally acclaimed classic “blood wedding” by Garcia Lorca is remarkable in that the writer is able to show the macrocosm of the Andalusian society through the microcosm of a real murder that took place in Nijjar in 1928. In that sensational murder case the man who had eloped with the bride was brutally murdered by his cousin. The novel at large reflects the Andalusian society that is responsible for promoting blood vendetta and honor killings in the name of the societal norms and culture. Lorca shows how the societal pressures cause conflicts between man and society, man and man, and man and god, wherein the society gets the upper hand, notwithstanding the fact that it was the individuals that created the society.

Like other societies of the world, the Spanish society is also founded on certain tenets and dogmas when it comes to gender roles, class system, religion and familial honour.  Through his powerful language, symbols and imagery, Lorca gives us a crystal clear picture of the Andalusian society that has a rigid and stern mindset on the social and cultural issues. For example, the women of this society are cast in stereotyped roles, not unlike the women living in the prehistoric times. The precursors of this man made society advocate that women be cloistered behind “thick walls” after their wedding. The perspective of this society is that the women are vulnerable creatures that can be safe only if they are incarcerated in these “caves” in the images of tamed and fettered animals. The symbols of walls and parapets not only provide them personal safety but also provide them a refuge to shield their flimsy psyches. Personal safety of the women is more important than their spiritual or cerebral development. The Mother prides herself in saying,” Life--that's what they need more than anything else--life." (Mother, page 19). The attitude of proponents of such man made laws makes the reader question the authenticity of the gender roles assigned to men and women. Contrary to the restrictions that women have to undergo, men are as free as birds to realize their pursuits. Leonardo, although married with a child, does not hesitate in persuading a woman to elope with him even from the altar of her wedding. Leonardo serves as an exemplar in this play showing the consequences of not being able to marry his beloved owing to financial crisis. The society is rigid on the equality between the marriage parties; thereby engendering conflicts in the minds of people like Leonardo who can neither marry the object of his love nor can divorce his wife.

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Patriarchy is the order of the day in such a society, and women are just considered tools of uniting two wealthy families. The parents have the ultimate authority of marrying their daughters into rich families, irrespective of the consent of the bride. The Mother …… In utter desperation the Bride wishes, she were a man so she could have more options in life. Are not the repressed emotions dangerous? But it will be too late for the society to realize it as the society is prejudiced and biased firmly when it comes to women’s right to freedom and equality.


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