identity and its fragmentation in nada

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In Carmen Laforet’s Nada, the orphan Andrea arrives in Barcelona filled with optimism about her new life inside the city. Various critics claim that the novel is a ‘bildungsroman’, a coming-of-age story where protagonist, a teenager, matures into adulthood and finds her identity. However , surrounded by a family characterized by partage in the decadence of post-war Spain, it truly is arguable that Andrea is unable to find a stable, secure id and leaves the city together with the same childish naivety which she appeared.

There exists a sense of repression of true id throughout the book, which alterations form as the storyline develops. The book is split into 3 distinct parts, the first of which ends with the departure of Asco to the convent. In this initial part, it seemed as thought Andrea’s aunt was the main obstacle separating her from the possibility of independence and maturity and also the force that inflicted feelings of anxiety and guilt on to herself. Although Andrea found its way to Barcelona hoping to lead the liberated your life of a student, as soon as your woman arrived at the Calle Aribau she hit with a sort of penitentiary, full of fragmented characters in whose repressed wants and pushes had powered them to darkness, violence and depravity. Yet , even following Angustias’ leaving, Andrea discovers that so long as she is in the calle para Aribau she is going to never able to find independence- she is allowed to have got her aunt’s old place, but locates that not just does Romen often are available in without warning to rummage amongst the clutter that fills the room, but the room itself is located in the middle of your house and via it Hazel cannot break free from each of the goings-on about her, particularly the disputes among Gloria and Juan.

The expressionist, gothic explanations of Aribau are often associated with a sort of suffocation, implying the fact that true details of the characters have been smothered and deformed: ‘en este piso este calor sofocante como si el éter estuviera estancado y podrido'[1]. This kind of stands in stark comparison to the impressionist descriptions in the beach, time spent from which is connected with light and nature- ‘Toda la semana parecia alboreada durante ellos¦ me hizo ella ver un Nuevo quisquilloso de la Índole en un que ni siquiera habia pensado'[2]. The traditional link between lumination and darkness, the all-natural and the medieval could be seen to translate to the stifling of virtually any identity Hazel might have wished to find during her period at Aribau, and that the chance of developing a fully developed identity is merely possible in the period spent without her as well as, more drastically, with Ena. Furthermore, it truly is paradoxical that Andrea was specifically enthusiastic by the thought of coming to Barcelona, a humming and lively city, yet it is typically only when she leaves the location to go to the seashore or the region that she gets most happy and liberated. Thus it can be clear, both from the terminology of oppression and suffocation in the calle Aribau plus the semantic fields of light and darkness that if Donna has any hope of developing right into a young female and presuming the id she therefore desperately needs, it cannot happen in the filthy, ghostliness of Aribau.

Partage of the do it yourself is very carefully related to the idea of id in Nada. Throughout the story, right up until the closing pages, Andrea displays a distinct and crucial divide between exterior and interior, a divide that fundamentally stops her from achieving her longing to be an attractive, desired and mature girl. From the initially meeting with Ena, she endeavors desperately to keep her two worlds separate, indeed, she’s ashamed of her family by Aribau, especially after she sees the high-bourgeois your life led simply by Ena in V? a Layetana. Andrea’s home presents a family in crisis after the upheaval and destruction from the Spanish Civil War, that lacks a male brain of household and its family are only just scraping collectively enough money to subsist, Juan being a poorly paid nightwatchman and Gloria simply by secretly gambling. On the other hand, Andrea’s family represents the version family of the brand new Francoist purchase who live a comfortable and liberal life as part of Spain’s new pioneeringup-and-coming elite[3]. Perhaps it is here, inside the deep-seated cultural fragmentation of post-war Spain, where Andrea’s inability to behave upon her dreams and desires discovers its source. In her mind, Donna wants to become the sophisticated woman that Ena embodies and Rom? n wants like a companion. For a time, she keeps up the faeade of being a refined young lady, ‘yo me daba cuenta sobre que este me creea una persona nota, mucho regla formada, y tal sucesión me inteligente'[4], nevertheless her feelings of inferiority and inability show through and Romen shortly labels her as a child. Though these feelings re-surface several times inside the novel, under no circumstances do that they as highly as in Pon’s ball where Hazel leaves due to her cheap and dirty shoes and the feeling of estrangement she gets from staying surrounding by a bourgeois interpersonal class. Pertaining to Andrea, portion of the identity the girl wants to get is equated with exceeding the class border between himself and the likes of Pons and Ena. Therefore arguably it really is social partage that hinders the way between childhood and womanhood.

However , Andrea’s remarkable idiotic passivity is additionally prominent in fact it is arguably this kind of which means she actually is unable to believe the identity that the girl wants. Your woman very rarely takes an active function in issues that may concern her development, such as in Pon’s ball where she actually makes no effort whatsoever to mingle with the other guests or move with Pons. Even the mature Andrea that is narrating the storyplot shows the childish characteristic of constantly looking to avoid currently taking responsibility pertaining to the role of ‘espectadora’ she has discovered herself in. She generally seems to blame the social and familial partage that surrounds her and also seeing her position since pre-determined and unchangeable: ‘unos seres nacen para experimentar, otros para trabajar, otros para mirar la deseo. Yo tenea un nene y destroy papel de espectadora. Insoportable salirme sobre el. Inasequible libertarme. ‘ However , as the reader, we have a sense of her childish passivity and even once she is given opportunities to break out of her covering and become a working agent in influencing occasions, she would not have the bravery to do so. The girl with given two mediating functions in the new, one by simply her granny to mediate between Elegancia and Juan in one of their disputes, and another simply by Margarita to shield Ena from Romen. In both of these functions she does not embrace the mature identification she wishes and her childish part overcomes her. Furthermore, we get the sense that virtually any progress manufactured in the novel towards a well balanced and protected identity is usually not a result of her actions but of Ena, whom acts like a kind of fairy godmother[5] in order to save Andrea via situations the lady cannot manage and offer her a lighter future. Once Andrea flees Romen’s space, it is Ena’s phone call which saves her from her fear and insomnia, and then again at the end with the book it truly is Ena’s letter which allows her to escape from your ‘chillidos histericos'[6] of the house in Airbau. And so even if by the end of the new, Andrea’s performance seem to have got changed and she appears to have outdone the stiff social boundary that your woman felt caught by earlier in the novel, it is not of her individual doing and, like a child still, the girl was helped out of her unpleasant situation simply by someone who has the capacity to assume the identity of your mature youthful woman.

The idea of fragmentation of the home is sturdy by looking on the way Donna takes popular features of others, mainly Ena although also Romen to a degree, and sees in all of them characteristics she herself would like to have. Ena is a discharge of the personality that Hazel lacks, your woman embodies the courage, appeal and sensuality that the protagonist wishes she was in a position of having. Likewise, Romen, though flawed, signifies the cultured, sophisticated character that Donna desires for herself. The narrator, simply by raising the other characters in semi-divinity and openly delivering them because her wish self, your woman emphasizes her own deficiency of identity and reveals another layer of fragmentation. More than simply the divide between her thoughts and her actions, Andrea truly shows a desire to live through others and embody different identities. The lady own personality recedes in ‘nada’, while her notion of personal is fragmented, projected upon others and lacking occurrence and steadiness. She is so consumed by her deep sense of inferiority that she is struggling to form a coherent, secure self.

There is, however , evidence that Andrea does find some kind of identification in the year the lady lived for Aribau. In lots of ways, she is a maternal number to the inhabitants of Aribau. Even at the first meeting with her grandmother, she says how ‘Sente palpitar tu corazon lo que un animalillo contra mi pecho'[7]. She provides psychological sincerity for the fragmented relatives, which falls short of a man head of household and whose current maternal determine has been decreased to a ‘mancha blanquinegra de una viejicita decr? pita'[8]. The girl sees through Angustias’ attempts to presume the role of authoritarian mother and she supplies a refuge and comfort intended for Gloria after her combats with her husband. Furthermore, when she runs following Juan into the barrio getico she says ‘corre en tu persecucion asi como si en ello me personally fuera la vida'[9]. She allows him break free from the police and then cares for him: ‘Le saque el panuelo de bolsillo así que usted se limpiara la inalterable que votre goteaba acerca de ojo. Aprendí lo consumed y despues se base en mi hombro'[10]. She may not have kept anyone in Aribau, although she delivers some power for stableness in their fragmented lives, and although Donna does not find an adult identification in sexual terms, the lady shows these types of maternal characteristics which display steps to taking responsibility for herself and others and leaving the child years behind. It is even arguable that Andrea actually definitely turns away from trying to deceptive male libido, as we see from her meeting with Criado she still find intimate contact withstanding, and sees pre-adolescent chasteness. Furthermore, the girl finds her own unique place in the fragmented post-war society by turning to feminine friendship instead of one of the ‘dos caminos honrosos'[11], marital life or the convent, as recommended by Asco. Thus, probably Andrea really does to some extent find an identity during her time at Aribau, even if it is far from the one the girl had in mind, in addition to this sense Nada is usually legitimized as being a bildungsroman.

Although relatively Andrea does find a place for himself within the social fragmentation that surrounds her, she does by no means discover a stable and secure identification or impression of home. This is to some extent due to the repression of desires and organic identity the girl finds inside your home on Aribau, as well as the finish split between the disjointed, violent life led by a friends and family broken by effects of the Civil War and the generous stability with the new high-bourgeois family idealized by Risoluto. However , it is largely the result of Andrea’s passivity and total partage of personal, her blunder of dreaming up details and predicting them on to the people about her, resulting in a total lack of any coherent self and leaving her identity dispersed and unachievable. She leaves Barcelona as childishly full of illusions regarding the future as when the girl arrived, and she says ‘marchaba sin acontecer conocido nada de lo que confusamente esperaba'[12]. The novel comes full group of friends and there is no restoral of buy and wholeness.

[1] LAFORET, C. Nada (Ediciones Destino, 1995) p16 [2] ibid. p130-131 [3] TEST, B. Important Guides to Spanish Text messages: Nada (Grant Cutler, 1993) p10 [4] LAFORET, C. Nada. p38 [5] TEST, B. Important Guides to Spanish Texts: Nada. p54 [6] LAFORET, C. Nada. p265 [7] ibid. p19 [8] ibid. p15 [9] ibid. p161 [10] ibid. p166 [11] ibid. p94 [12] ibid. p275


MICHAEL JORDAN, B. Essential Guides to Spanish Texts: Nada (Grant Cutler, 1993)

LAFORET, C. Nada (Ediciones Destino, 1995)

MART? N GAITE, C. Desde La Ventana (Espasa-Calpe, 1987)

JORDAN, W. Looks That Kill: Electrical power, Gender and Vision in Laforet’s Nada. Taken from Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hisp? nicos, Volume. 17, Number 1 (1992)

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