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Outline the ways in which the most prominent theme in Allendes City of the Beast expresses the moral of the story

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'City of the Beast' by Isabelle Allende - Outline the ways in which the most prominent theme in Allende's City of the Beast expresses the moral of the story. Written by Isabelle Allende, City of the Beast is a novel about a young boy who goes on a life changing adventure into the deepest mists of the Amazon, as a result of his mother's unremitting battle with Leukaemia. Although there are multiple themes throughout the book, the most prominent of them is the difference in culture between the Western people and that of the people of the Amazon. Through this theme, Allende suggests that there is a cultural flaw with our modern civilisations. She portrays through figures of speech that in the passing of time, we have produced a world full of stress and anxiety, creating a barrier from seeing what is truly important in life. She also presents the idea that Western civilisations are destroying the world and have sold their moral principles to money and fame by means of characterisation. ...read more.


This establishes a clear contrast between the People of the Mist, describing their environment as 'relaxed and festive'. Allende uses these adjectives to create a peaceful and relaxed tone, which is reinforced when she adds 'no one hurried'. This distinguishes between the frustrating lives of the people of New York and the peaceful life of the People of the Mist. Allende's use of characterisation within the novel conveys various perspectives about the Western and Indian cultures. Carias, a well known businessman of the area, portrays that he believes to be on top of the world, with everything going his way 'By the time settlers come to cut trees and breed cattle, you and I will be rich' (p. 92). Carias was speaking to Maurus and is planning to expand development in the Amazon and finds no significance in preserving its natural habitat or its people. This is also proved when he says 'Before the three months have gone by, there won't be a living sole left in that area' (p.93) ...read more.


This line demonstrates Allende's intention in suggesting that environment encapsulates the values of the place, and in turn, affects whoever enters it. In conclusion, City of the Beast by Isabelle Allende, is a novel which conveys the message that there is a cultural flaw with our modern civilisations. This is most apparent in the theme of cultural difference between the Western and Indian cultures, and through diction, characterisation and setting, Allende expresses her feelings towards the values of Western cultures. Through diction, she portrays that Western societies are building a world full of anxiety and stress, and have lost the true meaning of life. Allende's use of characterisation creates personalities that synopsize the values of both the Western and Indian cultures, contrasting their values and way of life. Her choice of setting also gives the reader the impression that settings encapsulate the values of the environment which affect those who enter them. Through the differences in culture in City of the Beast, Allende shows that there is a fault in our Western culture which is creating an unsafe, stressful society and that the Indian culture is superior. ...read more.

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