It is now obvious that hermann thinks nothing of

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romance with this innocent woman who is completely unaware of his true intentions. It is now obvious that Hermann thinks nothing of Lizaveta and simply wants to learn the Countess’ secret. “Or named the three winning cards to me? Why shouldn’t I try my luck? ...Get myself presented to her, work my way into her affections; become her lover even;” (Pushkin 80). Hermann now understands that in order to get what he wants he must be in contact with the Countess and he is willing to do whatever it takes. Lizaveta is also affected by gossip when Tomsky explains to her how Hermann desires her. Without knowing Hermann’s intentions, Tomsky has now given Lizaveta the idea that she is special to him Hermann. His greed drives him, as does that of Bernarda. She is 2
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capable of locking her own mother away in order to avoid the whispers others might share if they see Maria Josefa acting in her crazy ways. “It’s not that. If she’s there, the neighbours can see her from their windows” (Lorca 127). She keeps her own mother locked away in a room because of the way she acts, much of which is probably a result of being in captivity for so long. For Bernarda, the avoidance of negative connotations regarding her family is more important that her mother. Hermann is so driven to obtain the secret from the Countess that he is willing to make an exchange and be responsible for her sin. He is completely numb to the consequences of his actions because this gossip has driven him to an insane obsession with the secret. “He offers to take over the Countess’ sin…he offers to free her from the pact by assuming her role in the pact…” (Shrayer) This work compares the interactions between Hermann and the Countess to that of Faustus and Mephostophilis. Like Faustus, Hermann is willing to do anything in order to obtain the Countess’ secret. The article also emphasizes the fact that Tomsky is the reason for Hermann’s actions. The gossip he stared about the Countess while around the faro table is the reason Hermann has become so greedy. As the story ends, Hermann is confused and angry that he lost the game after everything he went through. “ ‘Your queen loses’, said Chekalinsky gently” (Pushkin 99). It is not obvious whether or not the Countess’ was playing a trick on Hermann or she was simply lucky in her day and had no secret at all. The gossip Hermann chooses to live his life by eventually leads to his demise. Similarly, the gossip Bernarda so desperately attempts to avoid will tear her family even farther apart. 3
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Bernarda Alba is very similar to Hermann in that her actions are completely driven by gossip. She will do anything in her power to ensure that things go her way. “Less wailing and more work. You should have got the whole place cleaner, ready for the mourners” (Lorca 122). Bernarda disregards the sadness of those truly mourning her own husband because of her obsession with how others perceive her. The mourners are not even a part of her family, yet she takes care of them first. Her house must be clean for them rather than to honor her husband that has recently passed. For Bernarda, all others are above her own family because her being revolves around what others think of her.
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