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IB English Paper One

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IB English Paper One Eng Per 6 Due June 13, 2007 Mat Laffitte Magical Realism and Characterization and its affect on women's portrayal in Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits and Gabriel Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold both are Latin American novels that illustrate and deal with various aspects of their cultures. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a novel about a small town where a baffling murder takes place twenty-seven years earlier. The House of the Spirits is a novel based in Chile that illustrates the political, social, and economic struggles the characters undergo. Both Latin American novelists share similar writing styles, greatly influenced by their backgrounds. Allende's feminist views and Marquez's childhood, having grown up solely among women, is reflected in both texts. One evident theme, which parallels the authors' backgrounds, is the way in which women are portrayed bearing great mental, physical, and extrasensory traits. Each author, through characterization and magical realism, uses at least one female character to demonstrate how women possess the strength to get by despite the cultural restrictions in which they are belittled by the dominance of males in their culture. ...read more.


Comparatively, in Allende's work Esteban Trueba and Clara bound their first born daughter to an arranged marriage to Jean de Satigny. "'I'm not getting married, Papa,' she said. 'Be quite!' he roared. 'You're getting married. I don't want any bastards in the family, do you hear me?'...'you might as well forget about [Pedro Tercero Garcia] and try to be a good wife to the man who's going to lead you to the altar.'" (Allende, pg 215). This aspect simply stresses the author's intentions to obtain consent or appreciation regarding the female figure, and demonstrates what they faced in their culture during that time period. Marriage against the women's will illustrates how overpowered the women are by the men in either society. However, for them to go through with the marriage in both cases shows the mental strength the women carry that allows them to endure a hardship where their feelings do not dictate their fate. On the other hand, the authors portray the men in both novels as being persistent to what they want, such as their wives, and ultimately abuse what they have. ...read more.


Allende's contradictory portrayal of women's domesticity ultimately makes a similar statement as Marquez. Although Clara is primarily portrayed as lacking in domestic skills, subtleties in the text imply that she in fact doesn't, and can successfully address these issues at times when necessary. This characteristic corresponds to Marquez's point, yet Allende achieves differently. In her novel, the female characters seem to grasp the bare necessity of the sacrificial domestic concept, which again illustrates a physical and mental ability that women possess which the male figures in the novels do not. Both Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The House of the Spirits share a analogous resemblance in the portrayal of women pertains to Isabel Allende and Gabriel Marquez's similar lives. In the novels, the male figures seem to cease women's ability to evidently succeed in their society. However, the author's use of magical realism and characterization demonstrate how the women actually possess physical and mental traits that male characters do not. By doing so, the authors each convey a high level of respect for women that the male characters in the novel cannot and do not achieve. ...read more.

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