After the funeral of his husband Bernarda tells her five daughters that they must go through an eight year mourning period for her dead husband, father to all of them except the eldest daughter Angustias who is from her first marriage. Bernarda orders La Poncia the housekeeper to close the windows and prevents any connection with the outside world. She becomes an authoritarian force that controls her five daughters Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Martirio and Adela that each wants freedom and love , but only the youngest daughter Adela is brave to show her desire while Bernarda elderly mother María Josefa is also with her dream of lost love. Angustias is expected to be wed to Pepe that creates tensions between other sisters and eventually Adela announces that she has an affair with Pepe and Bernarda runs offstage with a shotgun to shoot the man. Martirio tells a lie that Pepe is dead, Adela hangs herself .After they find the body, Bernarda demands Adela be buried as a virgin.