The House of the Spirits Paper - Forni 1 Filippo Maria...

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Forni 1 Filippo Maria Forni Professor Louis Agregán English 1A 8 December 2005 A Brief but concise analysis of the Novel “The House of the Spirits” through the Main Characters, and Allende’s Sociological Aspects. In The House of the Spirits , Isabella Allende chronicles the history of the fictional Trueba family, exploring three generations of a Chilean family -- grandparents and great- grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. One of the main characters, Esteban Trueba, the patriarch of the family, is portrayed as a flawed and somewhat contemptible character. Esteban is obsessive, violent, and materialistic. He devotes his life to his business and political careers, determined first to become rich and then to become powerful. He owes much of his success to the labor of the peasants at Tres Marias, but he never treats them with respect or equality. From the time he becomes engaged to Clara through the end of his life, Esteban is passionately in love with her. His love for her is so strong it is like an obsession. It is not, however, enough to curb his temper, even toward her. Esteban achieves his material goals but is not able to be close to anyone except his granddaughter, Alba. One cannot but ask the question, why is Esteban treated so sympathetically? To answer this, we must first consider what the novel itself represents. While the story has
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Forni 2 autobiographical roots, there are a number of other levels, some historical and some allegorical. Although he is violent and selfish, Esteban is nonetheless treated sympathetically by the first and third person narrators who take turns telling the story. In the first paragraph of the novel, we learn that a first person narrator constructs the story fifty years after the first action in it takes place, based on the notebooks that Clara writes. The narration, however, quickly shifts to a third person omniscient point of view. More than halfway through the first chapter, another first person narrator reappears. This first-person narrator is Esteban Trueba. The entire novel is narrated in this fashion, with sections in the first- person voice of Esteban Trueba and sections in an omniscient third person. In the epilogue, we are told that Alba, who is Esteban Trueba's granddaughter and Esteban Trueba are the co-narrators of the story. We can thus assume that the third person omniscient narrator is Alba. On the highest, most obvious level, the character of Esteban is treated sympathetically by the narrators because the second first-person narrator, as is revealed in the Epilogue, can be assumed to be Alba, who in turn is Isabella Allende. Allende's grandparents had a profound influence on her, and she has said they served as the models for the characters of Esteban and Clara Trueba in The House of the Spirits : On January 8, 1981, I received a phone call that my grandfather was dying. And I decided to write a letter about all the things he told us when we were young. I was working two shifts, twelve
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Forni 3 hours per day, and I wrote at night. I had five hundred pages by the
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