Analysis Of Isabel Allendes The House Of The Spirits Essay

While seemingly rambling, Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits is best explained with the words of Erin Morgenstern: “there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep going on, they overlap and blur… and there is no telling where any of them may lead. ” The entire novel is a circle, ending with the same words with which it began. While there are a lot of examples of this throughout the novel, the most obvious are the relationships reflected over generations. Each woman in the Trueba family has a love story, either sweet and uplifting or unpleasant and depressing.

This specific passage illustrates Alba and Miguel’s secret meetings and physical explorations in the basement of the house on the corner, and it imparts the engrossing nature of this relationship by narrating their clandestine encounters and overall loss of interest in other activities. Previous to this passage, Clara dies and a few years later Alba, now eighteen, goes to university where she meets Miguel. Following her trysts with Miguel, Chile shifts towards the socialists as the favored political party, and Alba comes across Esteban Garcia outside of the student occupied building.

In this passage, Allende uses a variety of techniques to describe Alba’s intensely consuming passionate relationship with Miguel and connect it to Blanca’s relationship describe the significance of the novel’s cyclical nature. Allende uses simile, imagery, metaphor, and syntax to point out similarities between Alba’s relationship and the relationship of her mother. In the first sentence, Alba and Miguel are named simply as “the lovers” which reflects chapter five, titled “The Lovers”. This is intentional, as it immediately reminds the reader of other relationships seen in the novel, and sets up the imilarities.

Throughout the rest of the passage, Allende uses imagery abundantly to describe “their astonishing nuptial chamber”, depicting it with a mattress covered with “moth-eaten velvet”, with “topaz-colored damask curtains” as sheets, and a mosquito net made out of “the sumptuous dress of Chantilly lace”. This plethora of expensive objects that they surround themselves with is reminiscent of Esteban desires for the house on the corner. The connection between items and different lovers is highlighted by the description of their actions while in the basement.

Allende writes that they “walked around stark naked”, which is again evocative of Blanca and Pedro since they spend their first meeting playing naked. Alba and Miguel’s resemblance to Blanca and Pedro is accentuated by the statement, “they played like children. ” It is a simile meant to parallel Alba’s mother, and its importance is underscored by the syntax that Allende utilizes. As most of her sentences are long and elaborate, she tends to emphasize important statements with very short and simple sentences as a way to contrast it with the rest of the paragraph.

Later in the passage, Allende employs syntax again to describe the intensity of Alba’s love for Miguel, as she “learned to lie and dissimulate” in order to keep seeing him. This sentence is important because Alba has never needed to deceive people before, but she is willing to do it for Miguel, which proves the depth of their love. This passion is similar to Blanca and Pedro’s, and Allende draws more comparisons with these relationships by using simile to depict them as “blinded by the strength of their passion, which was like an insatiable thirst. Several metaphors further underscore Alba and Miguel’s fervent relationship as they cavort “in an endless bacchanal”, which is comparing them to the wild and drunken worshippers of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.

Miguel is characterized with a simile “like a thief” to exhibit his secret theft of Alba’s time and attentions, emphasizing the furtiveness, which is similar to the secrecy of Blanca’s meetings with Pedro. This passage represents the cyclical theme of the novel by ocusing on relationships that repeat throughout generations and are representative of The House of the Spirits as a whole. Not only are things like Blanca and Pedro’s relationship reflected in other generations, but other motifs as well. Rosa’s “nightmarish zoology” seen on the table cloth she embroiders recurs in Blanca’s pottery and Alba’s fresco of “impossible fauna of invented animals”, and these imagined creatures symbolizes the magic still present throughout the entire family (Allende 6, 270).

Green hair represents the beginning and end of Esteban’s love for others, as he first falls in love with Rosa, whose “long green hair hung like a fern,” and Alba’s “greenish locks of hair” which mirror Rosa’s (Allende 38, 262). Esteban helps Transito Soto start her own business in the capital, and because of that debt, she uses her success and connections to help free Alba. Esteban Trueba’s disregard of the peasants and his bastard children trickles down to Esteban Garcia’s anger and jealousy, which he takes out on Alba.

Overall this circuitry connects the beginning and end of the novel, and Allende’s intention is to show that life cycles repeat, and if people do not learn from the past, then they are doomed to make the same mistakes. Allende’s other purpose in relating Alba and Miguel to Blanca and Pedro is to foreshadow what happens to the lovers at the end of the novel. She draws intentional connections between the two pairs to insinuate that their fates are similar. After years of separation, Blanca finally decides to flee the country with Pedro, and “live out in exile the love she had postponed since her childhood,” (Allende 393).

But, to get access to the resources she needs to escape under the regime, Blanca has to convince Esteban, who detests Pedro. Esteban is “unable to summon up his fury and his hatred” that he feels towards Pedro for his lower class and revolutionary thinking, and helps his daughter contact a Nordic ambassador. Just like Pedro, Miguel is a revolutionary and of a lower class than Alba, and so Alba (like Blanca) keeps their relationship a secret from Esteban. But when Alba is jailed and tortured, Esteban accepts Miguel’s help because “he ealized that the two of them had a common goal: to rescue [Alba],” (Allende 423-424).

Miguel insists that Esteban contacts Transito Soto, and because of his idea, Alba is freed, much like how Blanca helps Pedro escape the regime. Overall, this mirroring of timelines further emphasizes the novel’s circular theme. Unlike my classmates, I chose to pick a different passage for my essay because I thought this moment in the novel really captured the essence of Allende’s writing and the point she makes in The House of the Spirits.

The prose in this passage is impressive in the way it flows, and the different uses of syntax and simile and imagery and how they fit together to perfectly capture one couple’s relationship and its connection to other earlier relationships. The impact that this passage had on me is the reason I started enjoying the book and actually became invested in the characters, and I think this is really indicative of what I have seen so far of Allende’s writing style.

She writes about people, shifting the focus away from an elaborate plot, unlike so many other authors. Beyond the magical realism and different setting are people that readers can relate to. It is this empathy that she creates that makes her novel powerful; because people pay more attention to things they feel strongly about. Allende has created the perfect platform to tell people an uncensored story about what happened in Chile, and explain demonstrate politics and machismo and familial relations that all define this culture.