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House Of The Spirits

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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Summary of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Clara de Valle is a young, clairvoyant girl. She is among many children of Severo and Nívea de Valle, including Rosa the Beautiful who is older than her and engaged to a poor mine worker named Esteban Trueba. While Esteban is away, Rosa accidentally intakes poison that kills her. After returning home to see his dead fiancée, Esteban makes a fortune off of an abandoned property, called Tres Maria, owned by his family. While making his fortune, Esteban rapes and fathers countless bastard children, including Pancho Garcia who gives birth to Esteban Garcia. Esteban visits the de Valle family and asks for Clara’s hand in marriage. He then has a mansion
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Feminism is the most flagrant theme in the novel; however, other themes such as the supernatural and heritage are also shown through the main character, Clara Trueba. The novel is long with its 432 pages filled with fascinating fiction, but worth the read.

Feminism is shown by all the female characters in The House of the Spirits. Nìvea de Valle is the first clear feminist. Nìvea and her friends would bring Clara to “stand on soapboxes and make speeches to the women who worked there while the foremen and bosses, snickering and hostile, observed them from a prudent distance,” (Allende, 81). Clara later continues this practice in Tres Maria which causes tension between her and Esteban.

The supernatural is a recurring theme in American literature as seen in The Crucible. The citizens of Salem had religion as the foundation of their society and although no one in Salem has ever seen anything truly supernatural, they all worship God and fear the Devil. In The House of the Spirits, Clara is known for her clairvoyant tendencies including levitating, playing the piano with the lid closed, predicting the future, and acknowledging the spirits that lived among
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