When analysing Lorca's use of black and white imagery in Blood Wedding, a first observation would tend to show that the colour white is much more present throughout the play than black, the white being used, not essentially in the characters' clothing as black is used, but also in totally different situations. Although recurrent references of all types are made to the colour white and many characters allude to it in their speech and song from the first till the last scene, and to black in a lesser manner, here are some quotes dealing with the use of white and black in Blood Wedding where a deeper analysis of their evocation can help further our understanding of Lorca's developed sense and skill of the use of symbolism. A first notable use of white imagery is found in a rather indirect manner in the Mother-in-law and Wife's song of the horse who wouldn't drink in Act I scene 2.
[...] Here again we find the same sort of imagery and symbolism seen in the Moon's lines which tend to present the colour white which again in a way ‘needs' to be stained with blood and violence, darkened with some sense of traditional justice, and the Beggarwoman is seen as yet another figure of death. The second scene of the third and final act is scattered with white images, little shocking white details, “white myrtle “flesh of ivory”, “their [Leonardo and the Bridegroom's] teeth like fistfuls of hardened snow” filling an utmost sterile-seeming environment. [...]
[...] At the issue of the play we feel powerless but as if something needed to be done and Lorca may here want to tell us that even if such a codified society can lead to dramatic tragedies, such ways of thinking and acting have been of use for hundreds of years in the Spanish society and are profoundly anchored in the popular tradition and values, and it will take a lot of liberalism to chase this old-age conservatism away. Thus at the term of this analysis we have discovered that Lorca's use of colour-related imagery is much more profound than that of a simple usage for aesthetic purposes. [...]
[...] We then get here perhaps a certain assurance that the wedding will result in blood and not in white happiness, as the title announces. And whereas the Bride is far from feeling the happiness she should experience on her wedding day and is reluctant to show any sign of happiness as reflects the choice of her clothing, the Bridegroom is in a most jovial, excited and content state, desirous of enjoying a vivid life, and has so changed his shoes for brighter shades, as shows the Bride's disgusted, rather offending question of “what made you wear those to which he answered “they're brighter than my black ones”. [...]
[...] This same snow imagery is yet again alluded to in song, this time in the bridal song of Act II scene 1 where a verse goes as follows, sung by Girl the bride awaken / and slowly begin to stir, / her blouse of shining snow, / jasmines through her hair.” This is a rather dualist image for it evokes the preserved whiteness of purity and virginity always associated with a bride before her wedding night through the snow's immaculate white coat as well as the jasmine's soft white colour, whilst the coldness and hostility of snow reveals the freezing reality of self repression, for the Bride too is repressing her passion for Leonardo, which can only result in death, its coldness as before being evoked and foreshadowing the unavoidable presence of Death at the end of the play. [...]
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