The Nature of Power in Isabel Allende's Eva Luna and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Pages: 4 (1590 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Discuss the nature of power explored in the texts, Eva Luna, and A Doll's House.
In the two texts Eva Luna, and A Doll's House, by Isabel Allende and Henrik Ibsen respectively, there are various people who have power over others. However this power comes in a number of forms, different characters use it for different purposes, and the ways the characters achieve it also differs. These different natures of power allow some people to succeed where others fail, and it is those who succeed that, in the end, have the true power.

In the novel Eva Luna, there are various people who are in positions of power. The one who is the most obvious to the reader is the General; a dictator. He has the power to control and manipulate others to do as he wants, in order to benefit himself. His power comes about through the use of force, violence, propaganda, and persuasive tactics. He can control people, but it is only because they fear him. There is no feeling by the people he has power over, that he deserves it, they have no respect for him, and so without his armies, his power is meaningless.

Rolf Carle's father in Eva Luna parallels this nature of power. Lucas Carle has total control over his wife and children, to the point where he treats his wife more like a prostitute, and his children hide from him when he comes home because they fear a beating from him. It is this fear of being punished if one does not obey that gives Lucas Carle his power, and as in the case of the General, if the only reason to give in to someone's power is fear of the consequences if one doesn't, then this power gains no respect from those it affects.

The kind of power that the General possesses is totally different to that of Eva herself. Both of them are able to change people, however, where the General changes people through the force he puts onto them, Eva changes people from the inside. She is able to change people by bringing out what...


1) Isabel Allende, Eva Luna, Alfred A. Knopf (trans), (New York; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1988)

2) Henrik Ibsen, A Doll 's House, Michael Meyer (trans), (London; Methuen Drama, 1985)
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