How Communism Affects Social Classes in Paradise of the Blind and House of the Spirits
Word Count: 1500
Communism is the idea of a classless society; a society in which there are no distinctions between social classes and where all government systems are abolished. A communist society normally aims to allow individuals to obtain a common political status. Communism, in general, disagrees with old traditions of social classes (What is Communism?). When communism develops in a society, social classes become affected as demonstrated in the novels of Paradise of the Blind and House of the Spirits. In these novels, communism affects the social classes in such a way that the distinction of the rich and the poor is lessened, and an unequal distribution of wealth between the social classes leads to a rebellion. In these two novels, the wealthy class is threatened of being eliminated when the poor begins to rebel. In this case, the wealthy class is considered the landowning class and the peasants are considered to be the poor. Paradise of the Blind, written by Duong Thu Huong, is the story of the struggles of a young girl and her family who are torn apart by communism. The young girl is known as Hang and she lives in poverty with her mother. All Que, Hang’s mother, has in life is her daughter; her sister-in-law, Tam; and her brother, Chinh. Chinh forbids her to speak to Hang’s father because he is a member of the landlord class. He believes that “The entire family is landlords, the mortal enemies of the peasantry” (Huong 22). After fighting along with the communist government, he returns to Hanoi (their hometown) with the belief that the land owning class should be denounced, and the peasants shall rise. The House of Spirits, written by Isabel Allende, is the story of the del Valle family. The novel traces the romance, the triumphs, and the tragedies of the family. The House of Spirits also discusses the political upheavals of the family. A main theme of the...
Cited: Allende, Isabell. The House of the Spirits. New York: Bantam Books, 1985.
Huong, Duong Thu. Paradise of the Blind. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.
What is Communism? What is its History? What Does it Have to Do With the World Today? Set the Record Straight. April 2011 <http://thisiscommunism.org/pdf/FAQ.pdf>.
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