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In the novel 'The House of the Spirits' by Isabel Allende the epilogue is a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel.

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Commentary - House of the Spirits: Epilogue Nathalie Hopchet In the novel 'The House of the Spirits' by Isabel Allende the epilogue is a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel. In demonstrates the overall themes of recurring cycles throughout the lives of the characters, and also of the importance of the past and memories. The cycles run throughout the book, but in the epilogue we see how they are beginning to be broken and new cycles are being formed. The tone of the final chapter is both hopeful and cheerful at the beginning, and melancholic almost to depression by the end. The symbol of the old house on the corner is powerfully portrayed in this final chapter, representing both Clara's presence and spirituality, but also Esteban's fading wealth and power. Magical realism is used to help distort the distinction between reality and fiction. Finally we see the growth of the central character of this chapter, and the narrators of the book, Alba and Esteban. In the epilogue of the novel, Alba has returned from being held in a concentration camp. She and her grandfather Esteban Trueba restore the old house on the corner. Esteban dies peacefully in Alba's arms Alba is revealed to be pregnant and she begins to read her grandmother Clara's diaries and her mother Blanca's letters and begin to piece together the story the was just told. ...read more.


The tone of this final chapter changes as it progresses. At the start it is peaceful and joyous in a sense, as Alba feels calm even though her beloved grandfather has just passed away. This can be seen by the phrases 'happy, conscious and serene' and 'out on the sailboat of the gentle sea, smiling and calm.' However, as she begins to recount her experiences in the concentration camp the tone becomes more gloomy and melancholic, as expressed using sentences such as 'At other times I would wake up sad and filled with foreboding.' and 'I sometimes fell into a black pit of depression and began to recite the refrain about how much I wanted to die." Although there are many symbols in the novel, the most prominent one is that of the old house in the corner. While at the beginning of the novel it is an ostentatious show of Esteban's wealth, power love for Clara, it soon too becomes a representation of Clara and her influence over her family. In this final chapter the house is found in disrepair, as there is no one to care for it, demonstrating Clara's waning influence over her remaining relatives and Esteban's diminishing wealth and power. In spite of this, the house is restored by Alba and Esteban, which links both to the theme of cycle, by the house being returned to its former glory and to the theme of memories, as this restoration helps to revive some of Alba's memories. ...read more.


However we see that he has shrunk into an old feeble man, proving that Ferula's curse on him had come true, again showing how the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred in the novel. When Alba returns she finds him 'shrunken in his armchair. I was surprised to see how old he looked, how small and trembling.' He has shrunk as is power and his spirit diminished, and it became so noticeable to him that he was certain the curse was coming true. Even Alba notices it at the end, looking at old photographs, 'my grandfather when he was young and stood six feet tall, irrefutable proof that Ferula's curse came true and that his body shrank in the same proportions as his soul.' To conclude, in the epilogue of the novel 'The House of the Spirits' we see finish to two of the major themes of the novel, memories and cycles. The tone of the chapter is a fitting ending, as it is both optimistic but at the same time cheerless about the events of the past. We observe an example of the magical realism used throughout the novel, the better show the involvement of spiritual aspects in the characters, especially Clara's, lives. The house on the corner, a strong symbol through the novel has been restored, emphasizing the cycles seen in the novel. And finally, the characters have developed to a stage where they have become whole and are ready to begin new cycles of their own. ...read more.

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