Comparative elements and conflicts in the novel Nada, Carmen Laforet
This paper looks into the complexity of the comparative and conflictive elements portrayed on the novel Nada. Through the interpretation of the actions of the female characters, we can classify them into two different categories: pro-Franco and anti-Franco system. Thus, for example, the character Ena is an active, intellectual and liberal woman capable to manipulate and control men who lives at her own free will. This active and liberal personality is clearly not the favored type of woman under Franco, which prefers a society where men are the dominant figures. Another female character, Gloria, places herself far from the Catholicism based morality during the Franco period as she is having an affair with her husband’s brother. We also find examples of the opposite, that is, affinity with Franco ideals, such as Angustias´ decision to become a member of the convent, in line with the motto ¨Spain, united and great, through Catholicism¨; the example of Ena´s mother, nurturing six sons and daughters, also resonates with Franco ideology of a woman’s role in the Spanish society, being mostly a reproductive instrument.
One of the topics of this novel is the confrontation between the prewar petit bourgeoisie and the new postwar bourgeoisie. We can appreciate a big difference between the lifes of Andrea´s family and Pons´ family. Andrea has friendly relationships with friends from the new bourgeoisie; however, these interactions are not genuine, but superficial. Because of that, we also conclude that this novel reflects the underlying conflicts between different social strata. We also observe the conflicts and confrontations between republicans and nationalists in this society, through the relationships between two brothers, Juan y Román. During the civil war, Juan collaborates with the national faction, while Román joins the republican faction. Consequently, they separate from each other due to their different ideologies. We will conclude that this novel also reflects on the idea that the Spanish civil war destroyed fraternity and separated families.