Censorship and Repression in Sastre's La mordaza and Jardiel Poncela's Eloisa esta debajo de un almendro




Scott, Ellen

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In the years directly following the Spanish civil war, Spain experienced widespread repression and censorship at the hands of Fransisco Franco, the dictator who assumed power after the war. Evidence of the struggle that Spaniards faced as a result of this censorship is present in Jardiel Poncela’s 1940 drama Eloísa está debajo de un almendro and Sastre’s 1954 drama La mordaza. Both of these dramas were written during the time of Franco’s repression and thus reflect the underlying social turmoil that Sastre and Jardiel Poncela carefully present while writing under a regime of strict literary censorship. Jardiel Poncela uses a comic theater of the absurd style while Sastre uses the slightly more direct language of neo-realism. Spain experienced great fear during the time of Franco’s power which often resulted in executions, disappearances, and widespread starvation. Sastre and Jardiel Poncela portray the themes of fear and censorship in their respective dramas through their characters, plot twists, and details that become symbolic of the repression and censorship Spaniards endured.