La Dama del Alba
Part II of A Project by The Coral Gables Foreign Language Department
Ms. G. Freijo-Cantrell, Instructor

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     In the play “La Dama del Alba,” by Alejandro Casona, the author shows us a number of ingenious themes like death, “la Traicion,” prohibited love, and adultery. In this novel, we appreciate complex characters that are full of intrigue.
     Casona presents us to “death,” symbolically disguises as a woman called “La Peregrina.” She is sensibly fascinating as she shows us the side of “death” we don’t know about. She is not indifferent, but she consoles, and we can also say she is full of bondage. She is envious of life, and frankly feels nostalgic of human love and precedes that her happiness is unreachable. La Peregrina has an amazing sense of knowledge; she is condemned by her destiny to apply with job efficiently (although she doesn’t like it) while she carries the heart of woman, from she suffers severely. The profoundness of her words and the thoughtfulness of her thoughts without a doubt one of the most audacious elements used by Casona. This character is a clear exmaple of the literary movement of magical realism, although it also attributes to surrealism due to the fact that it is known that she lives with an internal struggle with the world and herself.
     El Abuelo has great significance in the book. He is tied to the naturalist movement by the way of profound metaphors that predict the future. The surrealist movement also forms part of his personality while he lets go of his feelings and easily lets us know that his mind is set. He is a wise man given by his multiple experiences. His thoughts reach such a level that he is the first person to find out and understanding La Peregrina.
     Martin is a man that although he feels some resentment towards life due to the tough experiences he’s been through, deep down he is full of love and nobility. Quite possibly, he may be the most suffered character in the novel, where as he was the only one to know the truth and was forced to hide it. He compliments the surrealist movement, that becomes true when he confesses to Adela that Angelica is not dead, but that she ran away with another man, He had hid that secret for love, but overall, in order for Angelica’s family not to suffer because they considered her almost a saint.
     On another note, La Madre was a key character in the novel. Conjugating her pain with the naturalist movement I’ve seen that what she wanted was for history not to repeat itself. The preoccupation for her other kids were obsessive and that shows us how she represents Mother Nature, jealous and with a great need to protect and love her kids.
     Angelica and Adela are two characters that are alike in many ways. Angelica was always disguised under a mantle of pureness. Days after her wedding with Martin she fled with another man and the town gave her for dead, dying in the river. Adela lived a hard life and at launching herself in the river thinking it was her only way out, she was saved by Martin, as well as saving himself. Adela began to take Angelica’s sacred position and when Angelica came back, all she found was La Peregrina. We can almost say that Adela/Angelica were the same person. Only one was positive and the other was negative.
     In the play there are many symbols. The number seven is one of the most important. It represents the reenactment of Adela, where as 7 moons after La Peregrina was to leave with Angelica. The maid had lost her seven kids and planted seven trees to give honor to her kids. Seven people lived in the house, and one of the celebrations is on July 7, (July being the seventh month). The river represents life in general. Some come and some go. In the river, there are tormenting trenches and deeper inside, the water is calm. That also happens in everyone’s life. In Adela’s case, the river represents her purification. All her sins were forgiven there and she began a new life.
     In conclusion, we really interpreted this novel very well. We can learn a lot from this and apply it to out everyday format. We’ll find out a distinct aspect of destiny that permits us to understand this theme giving a different opinion and seeing things from another point of view. Alejandro Casona shows us another image of the character “La Peregrina.” He converts her into a beautiful woman who possesses feelings thus submerging her in the movement of magical realism. By the way of the metaphors, symbols and the different types of literary movement used in the novel, we have been able to appreciate life a little more and accept our destiny as it comes.