The Cyclical Nature of Life as Demonstrated in the Novel the House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Topics: Cycle, Isabel Allende, Salvador Allende Pages: 3 (1078 words) Published: October 29, 2012
Life is cyclical. It has no beginning, no end, just a long list of causes and effects, repeating patterns and cycles as it stretches through time. Isabel Allende, in the novel The House of the Spirits demonstrates how history repeats itself and that everything is connected through the repetition of events, the inter-generational storyline and the ending of cycles. Throughout the novel, events, motifs, and characteristics are mirrored, bringing attention to the cyclic nature of the novel, as well as connecting characters and ideas together. Rosa and Alba’s green hair, for example, is a seemingly minor trait that is shared between two very different characters. Alba is”the only one who had inherited something from Rosa...”p296 While seemingly only using it to bring Esteban Trueba and Alba closer together, the only reason why she kept it green was to “please him”pg296, it is actually a part of the large circle of the book. Rosa’s death at the beginning of the book and Esteban blaming himself for it, believing that “if she had been with [him] she would never have drunk the poison...”p.36 is a major catalyst for Esteban’s need for power, especially over women. Alba’s kidnapping is another serious loss of control for Esteban, of which he also blames himself, admitting that it has all gone “overboard”p.419. Esteban’s situation is also mirrored, he is “powerless”p.420 and unable to do anything in both, one where he was working in the mine when it happened, and the next helpless against the military dictatorship. But when Alba is saved from Esteban Garcia, it atones for, at least in Esteban’s mind, his previous inability to save Rosa. These two, connected only by Esteban Trueba’s love and their hair colour, demonstrates how history repeats itself, with the repetition of the events and characteristics, but not always with the same methods or outcomes. Another example of this repetition is the rapes of Pancha by Esteban Trueba, and Alba by Esteban Garcia. It shows how...
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