Analysis of The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

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After being accused of being possessed by the devil and visited by her Uncle Marco’s dead body, Clare del Valle began to keep a diary. Fifty years later, her journal was used to solve the puzzle of a family history. In The House of Spirits, Isabel Allende tells the story of many generations of a family in Latin America. There are three prominent themes in The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende. First, the social divide between those who are “civilized” and those who are supposed barbarians. Second, the influence of women and their role in society. Third, the clash between social classes.
The first major theme in The House of Spirits is the division between civilization and savagery. The country in which the story takes place remains unnamed; however, there is a clear divide between the modern city, where the aristocrats live, and the undeveloped rural areas where the peasants reside, with little in between. The country remains nameless because this theme is so prevalent in Latin America. There is a growing gap between the rich and poor, and a shrinking middle class. The traditional perspective of the divide between barbarity and civilization is that the influence of modern, civilized people is needed in less developed areas in order for these areas to be productive. While many characters in The House of the Spirits subscribe to these common views, the book works to impair any clear divisions between civilization and barbarity. The practices and beliefs of those who consider themselves civilized are portrayed as inhumane, unreasonable, useless, feeble and backwards. Meanwhile, the “uncivilized” peasants indicate the most judicious, successful actions. The socialist government, which should be most civilized, forms a coup that murd...

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...ba women, also support the peasants. This signifies an important alliance between all of those in Latin America who are subjugated by the patriarchal system, and an alliance between those who believe in equality. By making class struggle a major theme, Isabel Allende clearly supports the view of the peasants because the conservatives would not see class struggle as an issue, let alone a theme to organize an entire book around.
Isabel Allende’s novel, The House of Spirits has three predominant themes. First, the social divide between the civilized and uncivilized, which is implemented throughout Latin America. Second, the significance of females, and their importance in families and culture. Lastly, the conflict between the wealthy and poor. It is crucial that these themes are acknowledged, for they are all extremely prevalent in Latin American culture and society.

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