• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Role of Female Power in Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits

Extracts from this document...


Role of Female Power Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits has five protagonists; four of those are women. This demonstrates that women are the essentially vibrant characters who are mainly responsible for advancing the plot. Their relationships with society, the male figures in their lives, and each other, are intricate and multifaceted, which instill the readers to reflect upon the roles of women and feminine influence in the book. Some critics even proclaimed that The House of the Spirits is a feminist novel. However, it is important to consider Allende's narrative of female power and autonomy in the lives of her characters, especially Clara and how she is immersed in the womanly world of magic and intuition. The way women are portrayed in The House of Spirits is one of the novel's key themes, and Allende did an exceptional job in articulating the rights and power of women within a patriarchal society. ...read more.


On the other hand, Clara acquired power through her own magical world of the supernatural intuition and Esteban's deep obsession with her. Even though Esteban rage power in political and economic means, Clara was too absorbed by the spiritual realm to be disturbed by Esteban's vigor. However, Esteban's attitude towards Clara's practices is completely opposite; he is constantly exasperated with Clara's nonchalance. This infuriation was evident especially after the building of their lavish European-style home, which is a complete portrait of Esteban's inner characteristics and beliefs: "Clara never went to see the house during the time it was being built. She was as uninterested in it as she was in her trousseau, and she left all decisions in the hands of her fianc´┐Ż and her future sister-in-law". Clara was able to reduced Esteban's confidence by ignoring the physical pleasures he provides, and this attitude keep Esteban working to try and please her. ...read more.


Her statement about women: "... women are really thick. They are the daughters of rigidity. They need a man to feel secure but they don't realize the one thing they should be afraid of is men. They don't know how to run their lives. They have to sacrifice themselves for the sake of someone else" appropriately concluded Allende's analysis of feminine authority. It can be said that Clara and the rest of The House of the Spirits women are of existence because they were able to confront the male perspective and way of life. They are the complications that provide the challenges the patriarch must face and conquer, such as Ferula and Clara, who constantly keep Esteban running. From his childhood into his successful years as a political powerhouse, these women expressed their power to defy and manipulate Esteban as best they can, Ferula through her power of motherly love and Clara using her command of the spirits. Duong 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Democratic Rights to Safety and Security Arguing Against the Building of Nuclear Power Plants ...

    The explosion could instantly take the lives of ten thousands of people, if an event simultaneously takes place at the field. Most importantly, building a power plant near a residential area violates the residents' rights to safety. The residents may lose their homes or lives in the explosion and will be constantly exposed to radioactive materials.

  2. The Significance of Money In Controlling The Fate Of The Female Characters in A ...

    Adela is the youngest daughter of Bernarda Alba, and she is portrayed to be different from the rest of her family. Early in the play, we are told that she put on a green dress on the day of the funeral, whereas her sisters still had the black dresses on.

  1. A Comparison of the Female Protagonists in Antigone and A Doll(TM)s House

    Antigone replies to Ismene by saying, "But I'm not the king, and I don't!" (Ibsen 11). Antigone replies to Ismene shouting and extremely mad. This shows that she disagrees with the fact that men can die for their ideas and women are not supposed to.

  2. To what extent is Esteban Trueba a sympathetic character in 'house of spirits'?

    Yet Esteban, who loves his family, fathers his own fate in a cruel and thoughtless way and, in supporting the coup, brings down tragedy on his granddaughter.

  1. False security for House of Spirits and House of Bernarda Alba

    "Amelia gets up, runs, looks through the door. Ay, I thought mother was coming." (179) This shows their fear for their mother is so great they transformed the walls in the rooms of the house into barriers. Due to the constant false security, the daughters are constantly oppressed by their mother, and in the end, Adela acts out her individualism and commits suicide in this god forsaken house.

  2. Male and Female Relationships in Othello

    The pauses Shakespeare places between "the trust" and "the office" through his use of comas as well as the enjambment that forces a pause before "Even fall upon my life", accentuates the high price Othello is willing to put at stake.

  1. The Complexities of Human Society as Presented in The House of Spirits By Isabel ...

    Despite having endured the longest weathering from time, the ineluctable end eventually comes in the form of Esteban brutally striking Clara, from which time forth "Clara never spoke to her husband again" (201). As well as Esteban's life, the cyclical nature of life is also presented through the Del Valle line of characters and their associations with fantastical elements.

  2. Katherine Mansfield and Female Dependance

    Female larks are not nearly as attractive. This resembles the woman at the store, who is no longer beautiful, and must build her life, and nurse her child, alone, much like the female larks in real life. Mansfield also incorporates the presence of plant life to reveal male dominance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work