Margarita Xirgu y Yerma federico garcia lorca pdf Muñoz en Yerma. Pilar Muñoz in a scene of the play.
It was written in 1934 and first performed that same year. Her desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession that eventually drives her to commit a horrific crime. Because of the time she is living in, she is expected to bear children. When she cannot, she is forced into measures that those in her society would view as extreme.
Although critics speculate that Yerma kills her husband in the end because he is a frugal, economically driven man who has no desire to have children, the play is indeterminate on this issue. She kills him at a hermitage, a religious place with the possibility of fertility. However he has already shown no desire to have children, so there is no evidence that he would have changed his mind at the festival. Yerma has been married two years.
She wants to strengthen her husband, Juan, so he can give her children. Telling Yerma to stay at home, Juan goes back to his work in the olive groves, and Yerma talks and sings to the child she wishes she were carrying. María, married five months and already pregnant, asks Yerma to sew for the baby. Yerma fears that if she, too, doesn’t conceive soon, her blood will turn to poison. The couple’s friend, Víctor, sees Yerma sewing and assumes she is pregnant. His advice when he learns the truth: Try harder.
Yerma has just taken Juan his dinner in the fields. On the road home, she encounters an old woman who insists that passion is the key to conception. Yerma admits a secret longing for Víctor but none for Juan. She then meets two girls whose attitudes astonish her. One has left her baby untended. The other is childless and glad of it, although her mother, Dolores, is giving her herbs for pregnancy. Next Víctor comes along, and the conversation between Víctor and Yerma becomes tense with unspoken thoughts and desires.
Juan enters, worrying about what people will say if Yerma stays out chatting. He tells her he intends to work all night. It is three years later. Five laundresses gossip about a woman who still has no children, who has been looking at another man, and whose husband has brought in his sisters to keep an eye on her. We know they mean Yerma. The laundresses sing about husbands, lovemaking, and babies. Juan’s two sisters watch over Yerma.
She refuses to stay at home, and people are talking. Without children in it, her house seems like a prison to her. Her marriage has turned bitter. María visits, but reluctantly since the sight of her baby always makes Yerma weep. The childless girl says her mother, Dolores, is expecting Yerma.
Víctor comes in to say goodbye. Yerma is surprised and a little saddened by Víctor’s announcement to go. Juan enters and it is later found out that Juan has bought Víctor’s sheep. It would seem that Juan is one of the reasons why Víctor is leaving. Yerma is angered, and when Juan goes out with Víctor, Yerma makes her escape to see Dolores. Yerma is found at Dolores’s house.
Dolores and the old woman have been praying over Yerma all night in the cemetery. Juan accuses Yerma of deceit, and she curses her blood, her body, and her father “who left me the blood of the father of a hundred sons. The scene begins near a hermitage high in the mountains, a place to which many barren women, including Yerma, have made a pilgrimage. Young men are there, hoping to father a child or to win a woman away from her husband. The old woman tells Yerma to leave Juan and take up with her son, who is “made of blood,” but Yerma holds to her sense of honor and dismisses that thought.
Juan overhears and tells Yerma to give up wanting a child, to be content with what she has. Realizing that Juan never did and never will want a child, Yerma strangles him, thus killing her only hope of ever bearing a child. The play ends with Yerma saying, “Don’t come near me because I’ve killed my son. I myself have killed my son! Because her marriage seems to be without love, she believes a child will bring her the joy she so desperately seeks. She feels empty and unfulfilled without a child, but is not able to achieve success with her distant husband Juan.
However unhappy she may be in her marriage, she refuses to leave him because of her overwhelming sense of honor and duty. He does not believe in the child that could be but only in what can be seen and touched. His job is to till the land and help the earth grow, but his wife, whose name means barren land, is left without a child. He is a fellow worker of the land. He appears a few times within the play, usually with only Yerma. There may have been something in the past between the two of them, but he was not chosen by her father.