Essay on Daughter Of Fortune by Isabel Allende

Essay on Daughter Of Fortune by Isabel Allende

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The story begins with another subtle biblical allusion, this time to the prophet Moses, as the narrator relates the story of how Eliza, as a baby, was abandoned. The memories of that day are mixed. Eliza believes that she was lying in a soapbox, for she remembers the scent; but Rose says that she found the baby Eliza in a wicker basket, reminiscent of Moses's adoption. Although the details of her life are not significantly tied to the story of Moses, Eliza is, in her own way, a leader, demonstrating through her adventures that there is a path that women can follow which will lead to freedom.
Eliza's own oppression comes in many forms. She must first deal with Rose, who insists on dressing her in fancy clothes to impress her societal friends. Because Eliza must not dirty these expensive dresses, she is imprisoned within them, unable to romp around the house like the playful child that she is. As she grows older, she must wear a corset, a tightly strung and stiffly reinforced bodice that artificially creates a small waist and a high-rising bosom—feminine features that attract men. To encourage a so-called correct posture, Eliza is also outfitted with a metal rod that is placed down her back as she practices the piano. Although Rose herself is gladly unmarried, understanding that she is a lot freer as a single woman, she wants to raise Eliza in a way that eliminates the mistakes that she made as a young woman. She spouts feminist attitudes and enjoys her semi-independent role, but she is thrown into confusion when she takes on the role of motherhood. Eliza is named for Rose's mother, and possibly th...


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...o be with him. Rather, she has chosen to share a relationship with him. She has graduated into a much more fully developed woman. She feels so confident about her new position that she allows her more feminine traits to once again rise to the surface. She discards, at least momentarily, her masculine props and puts on one of her old dresses. When she does so, however, she refuses to constrain herself in the tight corset that she used to wear. The days of confinement are over. She neither has to enhance the physical aspects of her femininity through unnatural means nor bolster her confidence by adapting a masculine stance. She now understands what it means to be an independent woman, a definition that she has created for herself.

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