Thursday, May 13, 2021

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Literary Studies | Unit 4 | Lesson 2 A Sunny Morning | One Act Play | Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero

Lesson: 2

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Literary Studies | Unit 4 | Lesson 2 A Sunny Morning | One Act Play | Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero

A Sunny Morning 

About the Play

‘A Sunny Morning’ is a light comedy that recounts the reunion of two lovers now in their 70s meeting at a park. In their youth, they were ardent lovers but torn apart by the cruelty of fate. The setting of the play is a sunny morning in Madrid, on a bench in the park.



PETRA, her maid


JUANITO, his servant


In a sunny autumn morning, Dona Laura, a handsome, white-haired old lady of about seventy enters the corner of a park in Madrid with the help of her maid Petra. Her mental faculties appear to be fine. She sends Petra to chat with her lover. She feeds the pigeons with the bread crumbs. At the same time, Don Gonzalo a gentleman of seventy, also enters the park with his servant Juanito. He sits at the end of bench with the old lady. Laura is angry. She says that he should have asked her permission before sitting on the bench.

They become friends after sharing snuff together. They find something in common that they sneeze alternately three times each. Then, they talk about their hometown. Gonzalo says that he is from Valencia. To his surprise, Laura reveals that she lived in a villa at Maricela near Valencia. They realize that once they were in love but decide to hide the fact. He tells Laura that he knows a girl named Laura Llorente who lived in the villa, and was the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Laura tells him that the woman was her best friend. He remembers his cousin, who was her lover.

Gonzalo admires her beauty. Laura adds that her friend was unlucky and had a sad love affair. The lover used to pass by on horseback every morning through the rose garden and throw a bouquet of flowers to her balcony which she caught. In the afternoon, the lover would return through the same way, and catch the bouquet of flowers she would toss him. But her parents wanted her to marry a merchant whom she disliked. Then, there was a duel between the lover and the merchant at sunrise on the beach. The merchant was badly wounded. The lover fled to Seville and then to Madrid. He tried to communicate with Laura through letters, but all his attempts failed. After that, he joined the army and went to Africa. He died there with the flag of Spain in his hands and whispering the name of Laura.

Laura tells him that her friend waited for days, months, a year and no letter came. She, without finding the lover, went to the sea shore, wrote her lover’s name on the sand and sat upon a rock. The tides rose to the rock and swept her out to sea. In reality, after three months Gonzalo suddenly ran off to Paris with a ballet dancer. On the other hand, Laura got married two years later. They do not unveil who they really are. They leave the park promising to meet the next day.

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Literary Studies | Unit 4 | Lesson 2 A Sunny Morning | One Act Play | Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero

Understanding the text

a. What makes Dona Laura think that Don Gonzalo is an ill-natured man? Why do neither Dona Laura nor Don Gonzalo reveal their true identities?

Gonzalo scares away the birds who are feeding on her bread crumbs. He makes immoral comments on the priests. He talks to Laura very rudely. This unfriendly behavior makes Laura think he is an ill- natured man.

Laura and Gonzalo can’t regain their youthful romance now. They think that it is disrespectful to share the fact and denounce their true love. Furthermore, they fear of losing the pleasant interaction after the revelation of the truth. So, they don’t reveal their true identities.

b. At what point of time, do you think, Laura and Gonzalo begin to recognize each other?

Gonzalo says that he is from Valencia and Laura reveals that she lived in a villa at Maricela near Valencia. At this point, they begin to recognize each other.

c. When does Dona Laura realize that Don Gonzalo was her former lover?

After they share their memory of the hometown, Gonzalo tells her about the Silver Maiden and describes her beauty. At this time, Dona Laura realizes that Don Gonzalo is her former lover.

d. Why do Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo spin fictitious stories about themselves?

They spin fictitious stories about themselves because they think that it’s not good to disclose the identities at old age, and they want to spend their remaining life with sweet memories.

e. How do Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo feel about each other?

During their conversation, they find that they were lovers once in their youthful days. But they are not ready to disclose their identity. They have no hatred and are ready to depart. They promise to meet the next day. Laura sees Gonzalo picking up the violet dropped by her. Both of them bid farewell.`

Reference to the context

g. What is the effect of flashback in the play when Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo knew that they were the lovers in the past?

The flashback helps Laura and Gonzalo to realize that they were lovers in their youth. However, they pretend to be true to each other. They narrate false stories to fool each other. They think that revealing the fact can make them lose their present happiness. At the end of the play, they depart promising each other to meet the next day.

h. Discuss how the play is built around humour and irony.

Humor is carried in the opening scene of the play. The comic sense of Laura is admirable when she remarks on Gonzalo’s walking. She says “A carriage would not raise more dust than his feet.” Her utterance creates laughter when she asks Gonzalo if he uses his handkerchief as a shoe brush.

The references to the location and sequence of events and their association clearly hint that Gonzalo and Laura were once lovers. It is ironical that they do not want to reveal their identities, as they fear that their changed looks can be restraints in their newly found happiness.

i. How is the title ‘A Sunny Morning’ justifiable? Discuss.

Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo loved each other but circumstances separated them. They used to be active, romantic and lively which suits the atmosphere of sunny morning. But, they are inactive now. The wonderful memory of their youthful days make them forget their age and think that it is a sunny morning. Thus, the title ‘A Sunny Morning’ is justifiable for the play.

for Class 11 Optional English Note

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