House Of The Spirits Quote Journal ” . . . it made no difference if they studied medicine or had the right to vote, because they would not have the strength to do it, but she herself [Nivea] was not brave enough to be among the first to give up the fashion.” (6, Ch 1) The women in this society are dependant on the dominant male figure to handle political and economical duties. This point of view is intended to mimic the older generation of women ad present a foundation for the growth of an enlightened generation.
Allende uses this excerpt to present a foundation of structure to the novel by beginning with the extremes of opinion, which are followed in the novel through different generations. Alba for example, become a very outspoken activist by trying to attend the student protests and follow Miguel on his demonstrations, a sharp contrast to the indifference or shallowness found in her great grandmother. “It was the custom then for women and children not to attend funerals, which were considered a male province.” (34, Ch 1) Allende utilizes this quote to demonstrate a beginning of plot development by showing elements of a patriarchal society and present the past limitations of women as lower class members of this society. This point of view also is seen from a narrator that exists in the future and is reflecting on past customs and while doing so insinuates that this class limitation will go through change and possible elimination during the course of the novel. It begins a structural approach of presenting to the reader a metamorphosis of women’s role in society through time.
“I would never find another woman [Rosa] with her green hair and underwater beauty.” (35, Ch 1) Green is the color the ocean and a symbol of blossoming and awakening while water is pure and innocent. It has a middling quality and mediates between two extremes, or two political standpoints (Socialism and Conservatism). Life ascends from red and blossoms in green, a feminine color of childbearing, as is seen through the many generations of green haired women. Green is a color of hope, strength and longevity, where Clara and Rosa’s hair help represent them as a very natural and bold feminine aspect of the book. Rosas blossom between green leaves and the symbolic name of Rosa sets the organic tone of femininity found within her sibling, Clara, also because she posses supernatural powers of the clairvoyant. “I would like to have been born a man, so I could leave too .
. . And I would not have liked to be a women.” (45, Ch 2) These two phrases are said by Ferula and her brother, Esteban Trueba, in a bicker about the care for their mother. Ferula is stuck in a position as a maternal figure, to care for the dying mother while Esteban’s masculinity allows him to enter the world carefree and to start a new life for himself. Free of the chains of Ferula’s obligation, her brother has the nerve to confess to her that he understands that women are not given equal opportunity while disregarding her dilemma for selfish purposes.
His shallow point of view and strict desire for personal gain characterize Esteban as a careless exploiter of the male favored society and set a trend of irresponsibility that reoccurs in his disrespect for other lower class workers as well. “This is a different country. Here the Conservative Party wins clearly and openly, and we don’t need a general to keep things orderly and calm, not like the neighboring dictatorships . . .” (70, Ch 2) It is very ironic that Esteban is so oblivious to the opposing party and its power so early in the novel.
He has a false sense of security knowing that his political side will always win the nation’s elections and furthermore, that no dictator would take charge of the country and destroy order. This characterization aids in explaining his shallowness near the end of the book when unable to admit his own error in logic, he continues to support the “conservative” revolution even though it becomes apparent to the rest of the country that a military dictatorship has arisen. “She had already made up her mind to marry without love.” (90, Ch 3) Allende demonstrates the irony of Esteban’s struggle for Clara’s love throughout the novel while Clara possess a clear indifference in attitude toward her lover from the beginning. She does not marry Trueba from surrender of her emotions but rather out of a premonition she receives about her destiny. This destiny may have been simply to bear children into a position that has the ability to provide an influence in the society around them. She wanted to marry someone with power and received a vision from the future before her marriage that one day he would be able to provide her with this request.
“Since when has a man not beaten his wife? . . . when everybody knows he is the one in charge?” (106, Ch 4) This grotesque comment made by the servants at the Tres Marias hacienda serves to blatantly present the ideas of feminine insignificance within this arena of political view. It is expressed even from the viewpoints of the servants, which represent a lower sanding in their society.
The significance in this quote can be found in the event when Esteban finally gives in to his violent inner turmoil and slaps Clara to the ground, effectively ending their already semi-legit relationship promptly. Her resistance shows that her pride and dignity still stand and that her strength as a feminine character outweighs the dominance of a physically stronger male figure. “Your body and soul will shrivel up and you will die like a dog!” (132, Ch 4) A prediction made by Ferula, Esteban’s sister, at the time of her eviction from the Trueba household foreshadows the grim final years of Esteban’s existence. These types of premonitions and curses represent the magical aspect of the book and bring about supernatural aspect of the feminist characters. Because magic is seen as a natural power, its mystism is found within the female characters primarily to demonstrate their organic qualities.
” Esteban Garcia. Who was destined to play a terrible role in the history of the family.” (140, Ch 4) The prediction and characterization of Esteban Garcia’s over domineering character develop the plot by introducing his character and forcing the reader to wonder about what conflicts he will present to the family or simply to Esteban Trueba in the future years. His reappearances are then related to this quote in attempts to piece together his climb to high military ranks and eventually to a placement with the ability of ruining the Trueba household. “They looked at each other disconcertedly, feeling for the first in their lives that they were practically strangers.” (145, Ch 4) This excerpt is ironic in that it seems that every time they meet from here on out, they always feel as if they are strangers. Because so much time passes often between their meetings, their physical and ideological changes affect their standing relationship.
The quote goes deeper in defining the barrier between love found within the novel. These lines highlight the idea of politics separating true love, which separates these lovers for significant amounts of time, ruining a what could have been very happy marriage and love life for many peaceful years. ” . . .
the stupidest things can be set to music. You’d be better off learning love songs.” (154, Ch 5) Significance is seen in the notion that Esteban accuses Pedro Tercero Garcia of playing communist songs and therefore spreading the idea of socialism to the rest of the community like an infection. What he doesn’t realize is that first, Pedro Tercero constructed these ideas himself and hence poses a larger problem than anticipated and second, the village is already “infected” with the socialist disease, as he would refer to it. “For the first time in her life she took charge of material things . .
. for she could no longer rely on her husband, on Ferula, or on Nana.” (164, Ch 5) The plot development is found taking place in this quote by advancing the ideas of feminist seclusion found in the previou …