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Essay on Daughter of Fortune

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Daughter of Fortune

In the book, Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende, the characters are ever changing. You have Eliza, who through most of the novel dresses as a boy, Jacob Todd who transitions between a Bible salesman and a newspaper reporter, Joe Bonecrusher who transitions from a tough, emotionless woman to a very caring person, and Joaquin who transitions from an innocent, poor Chilean boy to a person who is hunted down and killed. Many of the characters in Daughter of Fortune experience a transition in their life, and I will tell you about four of those characters.

A transition can mean a lot of things. One of the more known transitions is the boy becoming a man idea. One example I thought of that expressed this well was the one I read in “Proofs” by Richard Rodriguez, about the young boys who risked their lives to come across the border. Rodriguez stated, “You are a boy from a Mexican Village. You have come into the country on your knee with your head down. You are a man” (34). This is just one example, but there are all kinds of transitions an individual goes through in their life. One transition can be as simple as getting older and maturing. Another can be changing your views or your beliefs. You can also make a transition by turning into a totally different person like Joaquin Andieta and Jacob Todd did in the novel.
Daughter of Fortune starts out with a baby left on the doorstep of Jeremy Sommers. He and his sister Rose had arrived in Valparaiso from London a year and a half before Eliza came into the picture. They moved into a very nice mansion, and acquired the services of mama Fresia. Rose was determined to keep and raise the baby as her own. While Rose made sure of it that Eliza knew how to layer her petticoats and play the piano, mama Fresia spent hours with Eliza gardening and cooking. Eventually, Eliza meets a young man by the name of Joaquin Andieta, who works for her uncle, John Sommers. They end up having a love affair, where they would meet secretly in the middle of the night. Joaquin decides to take off to California to mine for gold, leaving Eliza behind. The pregnant Eliza takes off after him hidden on a ship with the help of a Chinese physician by the name of Tao Chi’en. Eliza falls ill, loses her baby and Tao Chi’en is there to take care of her.

Disguised as a man, Eliza spends several ...


... middle of paper ...


...ifferent person when they would meet in the middle of the night. Then, when gold fever hit, he decided to take off to California with no promise to come back for Eliza. Here is where he makes his transition from a young, innocent Chilean boy to a bandit. He ends up with men hunting him down and killing him. They bring back only his head and put it on display for everyone to see.

Daughter of Fortune was all about change. The characters made transitions in their lives, whether it was for the good or bad, that effected their lives forever. Eliza ended up somewhere and with someone you never would have expected, Jacob Todd was able to start a whole new life despite his problems in Valparasio, Joe Bonecrusher lost her tough girl appearance and Joaquin was murdered. This was truly a novel of transformation.

Works Cited

Allende, Isabel. Daughter of Fortune. New York: HarpersCollins, 1999.

Carman, Diane. “Allende pens suspenseful masterpiece”.Rev. of Daughter of Fortune, by
Isabel Allende. Denver Post Book Review Oct. 10. 2000.

Rodriguez, Richard.“Proofs.”California Dreams And Realities.Sonia Maasik and Jack
Solomon.Editors.Boston.Bedford/St. Martins.1999.


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