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The House of the Spirits

By ohsomargiex Nov 02, 2008 973 Words
The House of the Spirits

After reading many sections from various novels by Isabel Allende in Spanish class. I was in intrigued to read one of ther books. After noticing, that The House of the Spirits was one of my options I knew that was the one. Her writing style is so unique and it really makes you “step out” of your comfort zone. Though, the book at times was very hard to understand there was a lot of different things that made me want to keep reading it. It was mainly a more feminine novel and often showed that women were the main role in the story. It was a book within a book that told the story of a family from generation to generations.

I can not lie, but her book made me grab a dictionary a lot more then I have in any other story. She expanded my vocabulary and made me learn how to pronounce words that I would not have know the meaning in a million years. Words such as: clairvoyance, laudanum, oligarchy, harangue, and the list goes on. Although, my belief was that “ a sentence can give a hint of what the word meant”, in this case it did not work. Her book is filled with so many analogies that it did not make it that much easier. She has a sense of expressing what she sees and wants us to understand differently from other authors. One of these analogies is: “At birth Rosa was white and smooth, without a wrinkle, like a porcelain doll, with green hair and yellow eyes—the most beautiful creature to be born on earth since the days of original sin, as the midwife put it, making the sign of the cross”[ ]. At first I thought it meant that the girl really did look like that and she was untouched by sin from reading forward I saw that her mom knew something. “She preferred not to torment her daughter with earthly demands, for she had a premonition that her daughter was a heavenly being, and that she was not destined to last very long in the vulgar traffic of this world” [7]. This gave me and understanding that her mother knew that her daughter would not live on Earth for a long time, but instead she was destined to die at a young age.

There were twists happening a lot throughout the story, and has to do with fate most of the time. In the beginning of the book, Clara is portrayed for having the ability to read the future and know the fate of people. “I am beginning to suspect that nothing that happens is fortuitous, that it all corresponds to a fate laid down before my birth….”[367].This shows that Clara was born with this ability and knew what her fate was from the day she was born. Before Rosa’s death. Clara announced that there would soon be a death in the family. Everyone by that time was aware of the abilities that Clara had. Later, in the book we find out that Rosa’s fiance, Esteban Trueba, goes and asks for Clara’s hand. After they get married, Esteban knows that him and Clara do not connect on the “spiritual” level but he learns to deal with it. We find out that when Esteban and Clara move into a house the big house on the corner afterwards, has a lot of different people walking in and out whom are spirits. Hence, the name The House of The Spirits.

Unlike the time period that they lived in this story is more feminine based than masculine. Clara, Blanca, and Alba remain the “main focus” while the person they love in this case Esteban, Pedro Tercero, and Miguel become more of secondary characters. There is a lot of description told on base of the women’s actions such as each of their birth as well as what happens to the that unjustifiable like sexual violence and physical too. Each of the female characters in The House of The Spirits is a strong willed person and they do not let them selves be brought down by men. "Many children fly like birds, guess other people's dreams, and speak with ghosts, but that they all outgrow it when they lose their innocence"[8]. From what I tried to depict the women were percieved by me to be the “innocence” of human life in the novel. All the women fight for what they want in a non-violent way.They are not as violent as women who fought for their rights in or U.S History, rather they are more quite and make the changes more subtle without causing any revolts. It gives the opinion of Isabel Allende in a discreet way in opinion. She wants us to percieve from the story that what women do has a more permanent effect than that of the men. What women teach about health, and how to manage things doesn’t dissamble as fast as those of the men who are in the government and their plan and changes do not last forever and actually it brings more problems than before.

Many different themes were given in this book, but they all had a different way to be depicted. They were not so easy to find, and that is why when I read this book I had to take more time on it because I knew it was a more challenging story and plot. Allende really openedmy horizons to a new category of books, and wants to pursue reading more books of this kind. I would only really suggest this book to people, who are into reading a more complexed and unique kind of books in some sort of what like Garcia Marquez writes.

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