House Taken Over is a short story by Julio Cortázar, an Argentine author and one of the most influential figures in Latin American literature. Published in 1966, this surrealist work tells the tale of a family living in their home, which gradually becomes infiltrated by strange forces that slowly take over each room until they are no longer able to resist them. Themes such as alienation, powerlessness, and entrapment can be seen throughout the narrative as it explores how humans react when faced with something beyond their control.
The story begins with María Iribarne describing her family's house, which has become strangely altered since her parents moved away two years ago. She notes that while she cannot explain what happened to cause these changes, rooms have begun shifting shape on their own accord, and mysterious sounds fill the air at night. As María investigates further, she discovers that certain parts of the house have been taken over by unknown forces that seem intent on pushing out any human presence within its walls. Her brother Roberto also notices these changes but finds himself unable to do anything about them due to his fear and lack of knowledge.
This feeling of helplessness experienced by both siblings is echoed through other characters who appear later on in the story, including Señor Aguirre, who comes into contact with some supernatural entities while exploring one particular area of the house late at night. He soon finds himself trapped without any way out or understanding why he was chosen for such an ordeal in the first place, illustrating just how powerless individuals can feel when confronted with unseen powers beyond our comprehension or reach. Ultimately, though all odds are stacked against them, María eventually manages to save herself from complete takeover thanks to sheer determination, showing readers that even the smallest act of courage could potentially lead to success if the situation allows it. Hence, "House Taken Over" helps provide readers with a unique perspective on how to handle situations they may not understand instead of simply giving up hope altogether.