Loss and Survival in Isabel Allende's "Two Words"
Because Belisa Crepusculario had such a difficult childhood in which she experienced so much loss in her life, she is forced to become a stronger person both mentally and physically to survive such devastating circumstances. It will ultimately be this strong sense of survival that she develops through these experiences of great loss, which will guide her through the survival of life threatening situations.
Belisa had a rough childhood. She was born into a family that was very poor. On top of dealing with poverty, Belisa also had to deal with living in a place that wasn't suited very well for inhabitants. This quote explains her childhood quite well. "Belisa Crepusculario had been born into a family so poor they did not even have names to give their children. She came into the world and grew up in an inhospitable land where some years the rains became avalanches of water that bore everything away before them and others when not a drop fell from the sky and the sun swelled to fill the horizon and the world became a desert. Until she was twelve, Belisa had no occupation or virtue other than having withstood hunger and the exhaustion of centuries" (10). I believe that this quote sets up the rest of the story about Belisa because it portrays her as someone who endured many hardships as a young child and those are what helped her become a stronger person for those hardships. Belisa also had to endure great loss of family members as a young child. She was the only child out of her five siblings to survive a horrible drought that swept through the area where she lived, that claimed her four siblings. This quote explains those circumstances. "During one interminable drought, it fell to her to bury four younger brothers and sisters; when she realized that her turn was next, she decided to set out across the plains in the direction of the sea, in hopes that she might trick death along the way" (10). I believe that...
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