The Female Role in a Male Dominated Society

Topics: Women's suffrage, Isabel Allende, Suffragette Pages: 2 (626 words) Published: May 2, 2010
Women are sometimes undermined by the culture in which they live in. Only recently have they begun to be looked at as near equals to men and given a voice. Still, in some countries women may be pushed aside and left without a say in important decision-making. In the momentous novel The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, the wife of each generation is a matriarch in her family. Individually they rise above cultural trends, and their husbands or lovers, to exercise the fact that women are important. Women can be as powerful as men, even in a male-dominated society. This is why Nivea, Clara, Blanca, and Alba make their voices and actions heard during difficult times in a developing country. American women were willing to go to extreme lengths to make their voice heard and receive the right to vote. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. News articles stated that “Their issues are legitimate and cut across socioeconomic and party lines,” (Brenner,1-2) and that the Suffragist’s would be willing to hold an all night vigile to make sure their right to vote was no longer delayed(New York Times, 1). The House of the Spirits takes place in Chile during the 1900’s. The story begins in the Del Valle household. Nivea is the current matriarch. She is a firm believer in women’s suffrage and equality. Nivea was the first woman of the novel to display her affection towards the underprivileged. She stood on crates and boxes to preach to the hard-working women wearing rags and working in factories that paid next to nothing. She brings Clara along with her after discovering that her family does everything they can to avoid Clara’s clairvoyant powers. Nivea and her suffragette friend inspire Clara at a young age to understand and grasp the absurdity of the issue. Her trends are absorbed by the following generations of women in her family. Esteban Trueba is Clara’s husband, an angry man who is violent to his many workers and doesn’t take rule from anyone. His...
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