Summary: In The Patriarchal World Of Chile

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As one of the alternate narrators of the story, Esteban Trueba’s character illustrates the mistreatment of women that was accepted in Chile’s patriarchal society during the 1900’s through his actions and desires. Esteban, a high-class land owner, serves as a model who meets society’s expectations when it comes to the treatment of women by male figures. Sheri Metzger, a literary critic, describes the limitations Chile’s culture had imposed on women: "In the patriarchal world of Chile, women are little more than chattel, property which men possess, exploit, and even reject, as a facet of male privilege. Women have few rights, and so they must find their own means to control their lives”. Chile’s culture allows women’s lives to be controlled and…show more content…
Before Esteban and Clara married, Esteban would satisfy his need to control women by taking young women of Tres Marias and surrounding towns and rape them: "Word of his cruelty spread throughout the region, provoking jealous admiration among the men of his class. The peasants hid their daughters and clenched their fists helplessly because they could not confront him. Esteban Trueba was stronger, and he had impunity” (Allende 63). Esteban is known throughout the region for his unruly and cruel behavior due to his habit of raping young women. Esteban has no regard for these women and the consequences his actions create including countless bastard children. Other high-class men secretly marvel at Esteban’s power and are truly jealous of his unquestioned impunity. The female population of Chile in this time period were treated as property that Esteban, as well as other men, could use and dispose of whenever they wanted to. Esteban represents high-class men in Chile as he is “the right-wing conservative patriarch of the family” who disregards all women, including his wife, and their individual rights
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