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

The strength of women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits

Extracts from this document...


The strength of women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende both give women strong leadership roles in their novels, as in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits women play a significant role in family affairs. Men often start off strong, but often lose sight of what's important or no longer use their skills to be the successful leader they are able to be. When this happens, it is the women who step in to keep the family strong and the day to day activities going. Without these women, the families in both One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits would perhaps fall to pieces. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the matriarch of the Buendia family is Ursula Iguaran. Right from chapter one, readers are able to see her sense of level headedness. When Jose Arcadio Buendia first got caught up in the idea of science and alchemy, as shown to him by Melquiades, and wanted to trade their farm animals for magnetized ingots, her sense of reality tired to convince him not to do so. It says, "[Jose Arcadio Buendia] traded his mule and a pair of goats for the two magnetized ingots. ...read more.


Her disability, in some respects, is what allowed her to harness that mental strength and put it to good use, for when Fernanda's wedding ring was lost, Ursula was the only one who was able to find. This is due to the fact that "while the others were going carelessly all about, she watched them with her four senses ... and after some time she discovered that every member of the family ... repeated the same path every day" (Marquez 247). So, when Fernanda's ring was missing: "Ursula remembered that the only thing different that she had done that day was to put the mattresses out in the sun... Since the children had been present ... Ursula figured that Fernanda had put the ring in the only place where [the children] could not reach it: the shelf. (Marquez 247) Thus, Ursula's blindness can be thanked for her strong mental state of mind, even as she was growing older, for her extensive mental training would not have had to take place if she wasn't indeed blind. Nivea del Valle also serves as a role of an overseer. After her death, Nivea's head is nowhere to be found, and therefore, her body is buried without it. ...read more.


Alba's sense of family loyalty overshadowed all of that potential fear, however, not only did she go through with the pregnancy, she did so with a positive attitude, and the outlook that a prolonged cycle of violence would finally end with her baby. Though her situation is not exactly the same, because she has Miguel to go on by her side, it is quite possible that even if Alba did not have Miguel by her side, she still would have went through with the pregnancy, because the quote above makes it clear that her loyalty is to her baby, no matter what the situation. Both One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits contain women that exhibit a tremendous amount of personal strength. These women use their strength, physical, mental, and emotional, mostly to do their best to support their families. When the men in these novels are unable to live up to their expectations, the women are always right there, ready to take the lead. This was an almost unheard of concept during the time of the novels, but Marquez and Allende use this then thought to be radical concept, to show that women are much more than bearers of children. Both of these novels show just how much strength it takes for women to be fully able to run their households and their families. ...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 World Literature 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 World Literature essays

  1. The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Drowned ...

    Marquez wrote all these to again emphasise the significance of the drowned man appearing and giving faith and hope to the uncivilised village people. This was why the village people were so grateful of 'Esteban', because he made 'colour' in their lives and opened up their lives and imagination.

  2. Make a case for whether maternity or paternity is more important in The House ...

    is most seen when their family begins to break apart, in other words when Clara and Blanca decide to leave Tres Maria's after Esteban's rage lashes out on the both of them. They maintain a good relationship although their family really seems to be taking a huge downfall.

  1. A Comparison of Isolationism in The Metamorphosis and Paradise of the Blind. ...

    These two forms send Hang in different directions, but Huong shows the life of Aunt Tam in a better light because it is the life without communism. Life with Hang's actual mother is a life of poverty and struggle, a representation of the everyday citizen of Vietnam.

  2. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Unfortunate Buendia Family ...

    She wraps a black bandage around her hand, symbolizing her chastity. She does not wish to be married, yet, remain a virgin. Amaranta dedicates her life to hatred and solitude, in which she meticulously sews a shroud to lay on Rebeca's corpse at her expected funeral.

  1. The symbol of the house in Lorca's House of Bernarda Alba

    represented by her physical separation from the rest of the characters and the house. The audience knows that she is locked up in special confinement but do not know where; she is not locked up in just a room--it is almost a chamber.

  2. Comparative Essay. A study into how Isabelle Allende and Milan Kundera portray love in ...

    Married not out of love but due to her idea of 'fat' this leads into a marriage of abuse and misunderstandings. Alba the part-narrator wrote "He did not know she had seen her own destiny, that she had summoned him with the power of her thoughts, and that she had

  1. Pedro Paramo and House of the Spirits.

    Though many believed that marshal punishment is cruel, under the masquerade of religion it is tolerable, "he himself was a firm believer in the value of a good thrashing to vanquish the weaknesses of the soul" (2). Christianity uses religious tradition and the word of G-d in addition to implementing

  2. Feminist Perspective on the Role of Lady Madeline in Fall of the House of ...

    Even from the start, she is trapped in the house, trapped under the shadow of her ancestor?s expectations, and trapped under the realization of what she and her twin brother would have to do to continue their family line in the traditional Usher fashion.

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