Even as a child Clara knew that silence was a virtue. She chose to be silent for nine years, because she felt that “speaking was pointless”(73) and that she could get her own way without having to fight or argue. She had only to act as though she were perfectly happy in any situation when in reality she would adjust the circumstances to become something far more agreeable to her. Her silence “was [her] last refuge”(113), she retreated into her self when she felt troubled, and had no other outlet for her pain or suffering. Esteban “considered [Clara’s silence] a virtue” (88) but he did not really understand C...
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...s him, whether it is his wife, his daughter or his work.
The antagonistic nature of man verses woman is illustrated through Allende’s description and reactions of Clara and Esteban. Men and women are at the opposite ends of the spectrum of human nature, women know that men like to think they are in charge, because it gives them power, so women give into this little whim for the peace of mind and happiness that are essential in any relationship. Their instincts make their influence much more threatening and rebellious than the rage of one man who does not get his way. The women of Allende’s world are vibrant, spiritual, sensible and loving, the men are volatile, strong, and passionate, while they may be stereotypical, they help portray the true nature of man verses woman. Women may be physically weaker than men but they can match wits and daring with them any time.
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