A Sunny Morning [One-Act Play] Summary & Exercise
A Sunny Morning is a light comedy about the reunion of two lovers in their 70s who met in a park and were passionate lovers in their youth but were torn apart by fate. This play takes place on a sunny morning in Madrid, Spain, on a park bench.
Who is the author of A Sunny Morning?
Spanish dramatists Serafin lvarez Quintero (1871-1938) and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero (1873-1944). They grew up in Utrera, a small town near Seville in the Spanish region of Andalusia. They started writing for the theatre at a very young age. They were known as the "Golden Boys" of the Madrid theatre. They worked together on nearly 200 dramas depicting Andalusia's life, manners, and speech. Gilito, their first stage piece, was written in 1889. Among the brothers' most well-known works are the comedies The Flowers (1901), A Sunny Morning (1905), and The Merry Heart (1906), as well as the uncharacteristically serious Malvaloca (1912). Helen and Harley Granville Barker (1927–32) translated several of their plays into English. In the early 1950s, their complete collection of plays was published in seven volumes as Obras Completas.
Short Summary of A Sunny Morning
The Two prominent Spanish authors Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero wrote "A Sunny Morning," a one-act drama. This play is built on the central theme of a love affair, with two ex-lovers in their 70s reuniting in a park and reminiscing about their romantic past. Dona Laura is sitting in a park, feeding breadcrumbs to the birds when the performance begins.
Don Gonzalo then appears with Juanito and complains about the people taking others' seats. He keeps seeking a bench but can't seem to find one. He frightens the birds and irritates Dona Laura. He takes a seat on Dona Laura's bench. Dona Laura describes him as a bad-tempered man. Don Gonzalo begins to read his book. They continue to use pinching words against one other. Don Gonzalo pulls out his snuffbox, and they each snuff and sneeze three times. Following that, they form a cordial relationship. Don Gonzalo begins reading aloud, followed by Dona Laura.
They even discuss their vision. They discuss different cities, places, travel, individuals they've met, and activities they've done. They realize they were once lovers. Both of them conceal their identities and begin telling their stories under aliases. Don Gonzalo, Don's cousin, narrates Don's story. Dona Laura, as Dona Llorente's friend, shares her story. They tell their fabricated accounts about their deaths. They fabricate lies about Don and Laura Llorente concealing their identity. Finally, they agree to reconvene the next day if it is a sunny morning. They leave with their servants.
Main Summary & Exercise
"A Sunny Morning" is a one-act love comedy written by two prominent Spanish writers, Serafin and Joaquin Alvarez Quintero. This romantic comedy has been provided with the intention of entertaining the audience. This play is built on the central theme of a love affair, with two ex-lovers in their 70s reuniting in a park and reminiscing about their romantic past. This one-act play is about two former lovers, Don Gonzalo and Dona Llorente, who adored each other when they were younger.
During their youth, they were estranged from each other due to ill luck and Dona Llorente's parents' unfavourable roles. Gonzalo and Dona are both pretty old now, having outlived their youthful exuberance and allure. When they first meet at the park, they are unable to recognize each other. However, they subsequently learn that they know each other but do not divulge their true identities to each other. This play begins on one of autumn's peaceful sunny mornings in a peaceful corner of a park in Madrid, Spain.
At the beginning of the play A Sunny Morning, we see a handsome, white-haired lady in her seventies sitting on a park bench and feeding bread crumbs to pigeons. Her appearance is quite refined. She's there, along with her maid Petra. Petra later leaves the area to meet with the park guard. The arrival of another main character, Don Gonzalo, an elderly man, and his servant Juanito follows. Don Gonzalo appears to be irritated at first because he cannot find a vacant bench in the park to sit on.
Three priests have taken over the bench he usually sits on in the park. He approaches Laura's bench and shares it, despite his reluctance. Laura is enraged by Don Gonzalo. She accuses Don Gonzalo of frightening pigeons who were feeding her breadcrumbs. She refers to him as "an ill-natured man." Don Gonzalo dislikes sitting on the bench with the old lady. Laura continues to use harsh language against Don Gonzalo. Don Gonzalo, on the other hand, gives up after using their pinching and rude words of disagreement. He pulls out his snuffbox and hands it to her. They both sneeze at the same time.
Finally, they re-establish a friendly relationship with one another. They begin their conversations in a very friendly manner. Don Gonzalo reads aloud from a collection of poems. During their conversation, Gonzalo mentions that he is from Valencia. When he learns about Laura's home country, he is taken aback. Laura tells him she is from Maricela, where she grew up in a villa. Gonzalo is taken aback by Laura's revelation and says he knows a woman named Laura Llorente who lived in a villa there and was possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. After hearing each other, they realize they were once lovers.
However, they pretend to be anonymous. They both begin talking about Laura Llorente and Gonzalo. Gonzalo and Laura Llorente are referred to as cousins and friends by old Don Gonzalo and Dona Laura. In their conversation, they express their feelings about Gonzalo and Laura Llorente's tragic love affair. Laura Llorente lived at Maricela in Valencia, according to their conversation. In her youth, she was known as 'The Silver Maiden' in her community. She was as lovely as a lily, with jet black hair and black eyes. She was a beautiful lady with a dreamy figure. Gonzalo, the gallant lover, had captured her heart.
Every morning, he would ride through the rose garden on horseback and toss a bouquet to her balcony, which she would catch. Laura used to spend the majority of her time sitting on her balcony. She would toss the flowers back to Gonzalo when he returned riding on his horse in the afternoon. They were madly in love. Laura's parents, on the other hand, desired that their daughter marry a wealthy local merchant. Gonzalo got into a fight with that merchant one day. The merchant insulted Gonzalo while he was waiting to hear Laura's song beneath her window. During the fight, Gonzalo injured the merchant. Gonzalo fled from his hometown to Seville, then to Madrid, fearful of the consequences of a fight with a merchant.
In fact, that merchant was well-known in the area. Following that, he made numerous attempts to contact Laura via letters, but all of his efforts were futile. He was unable to contact Laura after that. Laura's parents intercepted all of his letters. Laura did not receive a letter because of her parents. Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo are now plotting their demise. They tell their stories about their deaths. The old Don Gonzalo claims to be the young man's cousin. According to him, the young Gonzalo had to leave his post because he had seriously injured the merchant. He enlisted in the army and travelled to Africa. He was killed in the battle and died in glory. The old Laura claims to know the woman known as 'The Silver Maiden,' and that she was her friend when she was younger.
She also lies about knowing the tragic story of her love affair with Gonzalo, a brave young man. The elderly lady reveals that her friend waited for Gonzalo for quite some time. She didn't get any information about him. She was seen leaving her house on the beach one afternoon. She scribbled Gonzalo's name in the sand and sat down on a rock, her gaze fixed on the horizon. She drowned in the sea after being swept out to sea by the waves.
Gonzalo had lost hope for Laura after three months of separation. Gonzalo absconded with a ballet dancer and married her in Paris. He began to live his family life. Laura, on the other hand, married after a two-year separation. They are both aware that they are lying, but they pretend to be unaware. When they run into each other in the park after nearly 50 years, they both remember their passionate love affair. They conceal the truth, however, because they have moved on from their romantic past. At the end of the play, they agree to meet again at the park the next day if it is sunny.
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 reveals their true identities?
➥ Gonzalo's rude behaviour, as well as his demeanour, lead Laura to believe that he is a bad-tempered man. Gonzalo frightens all the pigeons Laura is feeding breadcrumbs to in a park. He even responds to Laura's question in an impolite manner. Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo do not reveal they are true identities because they are aware that they were lovers in the past. They are both quite old now and have outlived their youth. They believe that it is preferable to conceal their identities and to be happy through admirable words from both sides.
b. At what point of time, do you think, Laura and Gonzalo begin to recognise each other?
➥ When Dona Laura takes the book from Don Gonzalo and begins to read aloud, I believe Laura and Gonzalo begin to recognize each other. When she reads the line "Twenty Years Pass," they both look at each other with scepticism.
c. When does Dona Laura realise that Don Gonzalo was her former lover?
➥ When Dona Laura tells him about the villa in Maricella and Gonzalo tells her about the Silver Maiden named Laura Llorente, Dona Laura realizes that Don Gonzalo was her former lover. To hear his admirable description of her, she recognizes him as her former lover.
d. Why do Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo spin fictitious stories about themselves?
➥ Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo make up stories about themselves because they don't want to reveal they are true identities to one another. They are now quite old and have moved on from their romantic past. They are dissatisfied with their ageing appearance. In this old age, they prefer to hear admirable words from one another. They believe it is better to interact with each other when they are unfamiliar with each other.
e. How do Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo feel about each other?
➥ Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo are irritated with each other at the start of the play. They lash out at each other with harsh and stinging words. However, when they establish a friendly relationship, they discover that they are former lovers. They begin telling their past stories while concealing their true identities. They don't want to reveal their reality at the age of seventy, preferring to reminisce about their happy romantic past through their conversations. They like each other and enjoy their admiration and past stories through fictitious means. They'd rather meet again in the park.
Reference to The Context
a. Look at the extract below and answer the questions that follow:
Yes, you are only twenty. (She sits down on the bench.) Oh, I feel more tired today than usual. (Noticing Petra, who seems impatient.) Go, if you wish to chat with your guard.
i. Who is the speaker?
➥ Dona Laura is the speaker.
ii. Who does ‘you’ refer to?
➥ 'You' refers to Dona Laura's maid Petra.
iii. Who is the ‘guard’ the speaker is talking to?
➥ The 'guard' is the 'park's guard' the speaker is talking to.
b. Read the extract dialogue from the play and answer the questions that follow:
DONA LAURA: (Indignantly.) Look out! DON GONZALO: Are you speaking to me, senora? DONA LAURA: Yes, to you. DON GONZALO: What do you wish? DONA LAURA: You have scared away the birds who were feeding on my crumbs. DON GONZALO: What do I care about the birds? DONA LAURA: But I do. DON GONZALO: This is a public park.
c. Who is Dona addressing by saying “Look out”?
➥ By saying "Look out", Dona is addressing Don Gonzalo.
d. What was Dona doing?
➥ Dona was in the park feeding breadcrumbs to pigeons.
e. Who scared the birds? Are they pet birds?
➥ Don Gonzalo scared the birds. They are not pet birds.
f. Where are the speakers at the time of the conversation?
➥ At the time of the conversation, the speakers are in a park.
g. What is the effect of flashbacks in the play when Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo knew that they were lovers in the past?
➥ A flashback is a dramatic device in which earlier events are interjected into a narrative's normal chronological flow. Flashback has played an important role in making this romantic comedy very interesting in this play. When Don Gonzalo and Dona Laura discovered that they had been lovers in the past, their flashback stories began to tell us about various events from their romantic youth. This play has been expanded with a variety of hidden facts as a result of their flashback. Because of its use, the play has a variety of concealing and revealing twists, as well as a satisfying climax. Both characters continue to use flashback stories with various information, which has made the entire audience pay attention and enjoy every single dialogue of the play. The foundation of this amusing play can be thought of as a flashback.
h. Discuss how the play is built around humour and irony.
➥ This play is built around irony and humour. The play is the ideal combination of humour and irony. This romantic comedy was created with the goal of entertaining all audiences through humour and irony. This play begins with old Dona Laura's amusing dialogue. Following Don Gonzalo's entrance into the park, the sarcastic arguments between both old people created an extremely humorous environment in the play. There's a lot of irony in both characters' pinching words. When they realize they know each other, they begin telling their flashback stories, which piques the readers' interest and makes them want to hear more from the characters. Their way of interacting with ironic remarks, their false stories about their deaths, their methods of concealing their identities to fool each other, their promise to meet the next sunny morning, and so on have added to the humour and irony of the play.
i. How is the title ‘A Sunny Morning’ justifiable? Discuss.
➥ This play is set in a park in Madrid, Spain on a sunny morning. In this setting, the entire play has been presented. A sunny morning has provided an ideal setting for a reunion of two former lovers in their golden years. They argue, know each other, conceal their identities, admire, tell fabricated stories about their deaths, prefer to meet again the next sunny morning, and so on. From start to finish, the entire play continues to make us laugh hysterically while remaining in this setting of a sunny morning. As a result, the title 'A Sunny Morning' is quite appropriate, as it depicts a reconciliation of former lovers in a park with great humour. In this way, the title ‘A Sunny Morning’ is justifiable.
Reference Beyond the Text
a. What do you predict will happen in the next meeting between Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo? Discuss.
➥ I predict they will be much more enthusiastic at the next meeting. They will once again express their emotions through fictitious means. They will both try to make each other happy. Don Gonzalo will undoubtedly be more forthright this time. He will make an effort to show his appreciation for her. Readers will be able to see their shyness. They will undoubtedly have a lot more fun with their pretentious acts.
b. Was it wise for Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo to keep their identities secret? How might their secrets affect future meetings?
➥ Yes, Dona Laura and Don were wise to keep their identities hidden. They both realized, at the age of seventy, that they were former lovers who had split up due to their misfortune. They did, however, do a good job of concealing their true identities. They were both quite old and in poor physical condition. They were dissatisfied with their old appearance. The revelation of their true nature would be futile at this age. They reasoned that it would be best if they concealed their identities and pretended to be strangers. They decided that the best way to relive their sweet youthful memories was through deception. If they continue to lie in this manner, their secrets may have an impact on future meetings. Secrecy is never maintained for an extended period of time. Because of their older age, they are at a high risk of revealing secrets. If they unknowingly reveal their realities, they will not attempt to meet in the near future.