The House of Spirits

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Life in Affection

Much of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende revolves around the life of one of its main characters Esteban Trueba. Esteban Trueba is an aggressive, violent character whose only goals throughout the novel are to achieve success and power. The reader sees his brutal nature through the way he deals with people around him, whom in his eyes are all significantly inferior. However, one minor character in The House of the Spirits seems to change Trueba’s aggressive nature. When Esteban first meets Transito Soto, she is a prostitute in a brother nearby to his farm in Tres Marias. However, she soon proves much more worthy. What may seem like an insignificant meeting at first turns out to affect his life over and over again throughout the story, as she reappears several times throughout Esteban’s life.

When Esteban first meets Transito, the novel states that Esteban does not really enjoy going to brothels, such as the Red Lantern, but that he enjoyed spending time with Transito. This is already a shock to the reader, since very few things in life make Esteban laugh, Transito being one of them. One of their first encounters put Esteban in a generous mood, which is again, something that rarely happened to him. When he tells Transito of his generosity, she asks him for 50 pesos to “start”. Transito is clearly planning to take this money and use it as a sort of investment for her future. Esteban gladly hands it to her and says that he will miss her. Transito replies, “But we will see each other, patron. Life is long and full of unexpected turns.” (Allende, 69) Here, there is a clear sign of foreshadowing. Transito will most certainly pop up again later in his life.

The next time Esteban meets Transito, he is already married to Clara, the love of his life. However, even Clara can’t alter his brutal nature the way Transito seems to be able to. In fact, the reason he goes to the Christopher Columbus, is partially out of vengeance...
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