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HOS commentary

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Introduction

Jenny Keroack 10/26/10 Kober Pd. 8 Commentary from Page 145 In this passage from The House of the Spirits, author Isabel Allende uses dawn as an allegory for Blanca's sexual awakening. Blanca begins to experience nature on a new level of depth, symbolizing her graduation into womanhood. The passage illustrates the sexual act metaphorically in the rising of the sun. With her walk to the river, Blanca begins a journey towards sex and, eventually, her daughter. An atmosphere of hope and imminent change is established by Allende's description of the setting. The reader feels that the impossible is suddenly probably and that Blanca is about to undergo positive changes. The earth represents Blanca both physically and emotionally. ...read more.

Middle

and "she inhaled the perfume of the drenched earth." (l. 12-13) This tactile, auditory, and sensory illustration contrasts with the juxtaposed, uniformly visual imagery used above. This change in description represents Blanca's deepening understanding of herself, symbolized by the earth. She begins to experience life differently. Instead of merely seeing the "soaked earth" (l. 11), "fallen leaves" (l. 6), and "evaporating dew" (l. 3), she feels, hears, and smells them. This new awareness of the earth symbolizes a new appreciation for herself. Allende utilizes color symbolism to emphasize Blanca's growth. As she walks to the river, Blanca notices "white foam," (l. 3) evaporating from the earth. Blanca's name, translated into English, means white. The vapor is warmed by the sun and moves towards the light, just as Blanca gravitates towards Pedro Tercero. ...read more.

Conclusion

had mapped out the lives of the Trueba family. This passage foreshadows not only the inevitability of Blanca's life, but the birth of Alba. Alba's name, translated into English, means dawn. The entire passage takes place during the rising of the sun. The earth represents Blanca and the sun represents Pedro Tercero, so it stands to reason that, in the union of the two, dawn would be produced. Due to the fact that her parents are destined to be intimate lovers, Alba is going to be born and the Trueba family will experience its own dawn. The wheels are set in motion by Blanca, who is "awakened" (l. 13) and experiences "an unknown pleasure" (l. 14) that morning. Allende foreshadows that Blanca is about to embark on a journey that will change her and the Trueba family. This passage is an allegory for Blanca's imminent sex life and Alba's birth. ...read more.

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