The House Of The Spirits And Kiss Of The Spiderwoman

1086 words - 4 pages


It is, at times, stated that paradoxes allow for misinterpretation in almost every aspect of life. Wherever those paradoxes appear, conflicts, both external and internal, arise and misunderstandings ensue. In the two novels The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende and Kiss of the Spiderwoman by Manuel Puig, however, the characters Alba and Molina, respectively, create paradoxes through their subversive actions. These paradoxes create conflicts in self-interest, which, in turn, reveal the impossibility of actually knowing or understanding one’s true motives.
     
In Allende’s The House of the Spirits, the character Alba displays subversive tendencies around her progression into adulthood. For example, Alba joins the revolution at age 18, mostly because “she wanted to talk about love” with Miguel. She also wants to assist the revolution because she believes that some of the practices that exist are unfair. However, Alba still wants her grandfather, Esteban, to have some sort of power within the government. The paradox within this scenario lies in the fact that Alba wants to belong to the proletariat cause, yet still wants a family member, who is a conservative, to hold his position, even though Esteban stands for everything that Alba and Miguel are fighting against. Alba also fails to correctly comprehend her motives because it seems, at times in the novel, that Alba aids the revolution “out of love” for Miguel and not because she truly wants to assist the cause.      

Another example of paradox through subversive actions exists as Alba helps the revolution when she “sat in at the university along with the students who had seized a building in support of a strike by workers”, then, soon after, steals guerilla weaponry from her grandfather, hiding it with assistance from her Uncle Jaime. Because Alba participates in a relatively peaceful protest, and then commits grand larceny, this instance shows that she teeters between two opposing sides of the battle: the pacifist approach and the more aggressive component. Also, since Alba truly does not show which side she prefers over the other, it remains difficult to comprehend if she would rather fight alongside Miguel and the other revolutionaries, or support them in a more conscientious objector type of way.

Lastly, Alba intentionally disobeys orders and risks more punishment from the prison warden by recording events in the prison in order to keep her sanity. The paradox in this instance appears in the idea that one cannot tell if Alba values her sanity more than her life, or vice versa. Also, one cannot fathom what Alba truly wants to accomplish through her makeshift memoirs. Even though one can argue that Alba records these events because Clara told her that it was necessary for survival, one could also argue that Alba is doing so in order to show her devotion to Miguel and his cause. By disobeying the warden, Alba displays rebellious...

Find Another Essay On The House of the Spirits and Kiss of the Spiderwoman

Madame Bovary and The House of the Spirits

1467 words - 6 pages Gustave Flaubert of Madame Bovary and Isabel Allende of The House of the Spirits both manipulate elements of genre, dialogue, and style in relation to suspense in order to comment on the romantic ideas of destiny and fate. While they both use these techniques in relation to suspense and anticipation, Flaubert minimizes the importance of fate while Allende seeks to promote it. Flaubert builds suspense for a large amount of time and suddenly

House of the Spirits, Major Motifs

1382 words - 6 pages House of the Spirits, Major Motifs Politics Pedro Tercero brought Socialism to the peasants of Tres Marias, and got Jaime very interested in justice, equality, and the peasant movement. The peasants want their feelings to be heard and want a socialist style of government, but they are afraid that Esteban Trueba will find out and kick them out of the estate. The people of Tres Marias have no desire to vote because they know that the

Federico Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits

1845 words - 7 pages Federico Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits Society, and its influences upon the characters, plays a pivotal role in the development of the story in Federico Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba" and Isabel Allende's "The House of the Spirits." Though the characters in each literary work were influenced by a range of societal pressures, three major influences dominate both works. The Church

The Strength of Women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and the House of the Spirits

1658 words - 7 pages The strength of women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the SpiritsGabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende both give women strong leadership roles in their novels, as in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits women play a significant role in family affairs. Men often start off strong, but often lose sight of what's important or no longer use their skills to be the successful leader they are able to be. When

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

1685 words - 7 pages In the novel The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende the epilogue is a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel. In the novel ‘The House of the Spirits’ by Isabel Allende the epilogue is a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel. In demonstrates the overall themes of recurring cycles throughout the lives of the characters, and also of the importance of the past and memories. The cycles run throughout the book, but

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

1423 words - 6 pages The House of the Spirits The House of the Spirits is a novel by famous Chilean author Isabel Allende. This book was her debut novel. The book is said to be based on the author’s own life. Most of the events occurring in the unnamed country of the book can be related to the same political issues Chile was facing at that time. The book narrates the story of the Trueba family and their continuous lives over four generations. It is a novel where

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

1660 words - 7 pages Social discrimination is the prejudicial and distinguishing treatment of an individual on the basis of their social class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, and systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower class. Isabel Allende uses the rigid class structure and the degree of social mobility in the country described in The House of the Spirits as a literary

Analysis of The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

933 words - 4 pages 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

Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits: Examination of Buddhism and Marxism Through Character Development

1242 words - 5 pages Within Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits Marxism is a significant theme and the political ideology held by many of the characters. These same characters tend to exhibit traits that correlate with the Buddhist belief system through reflection of aspects of Gautama Buddha’s life within their own. The characters accept the ‘Four Truths’ - most notably that suffering is an ingrained part of existence - and that there is an

Spirits of the night

1313 words - 5 pages SPIRITS OF THE NIGHTThere was a time in the town when you could walk out alone at night and not have tofear anything. You could leave your doors unlocked and your car in the driveway withoutworry. You could drop the kids off at the cinema downtown and not think a thing of it. Orstroll through the park on a Saturday evening without watching every shadow ormovement in the evening twilight.But no more. Now, doors barred the entrances along with the

Classism and Political Upheaval in Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits

657 words - 3 pages The House of the Spirits written by Isabel Allende is an extraordinary novel that weaves together, history, politics, and current events to create a unique piece of literature. Throughout the novel on several occasions it is clear that there is inequality between the aristocrats and the peasants and this leads to struggle between the classes. The issue of class struggle takes the form of growing conflict by causing a division between the

Similar Essays

House Of The Spirits Essay

1433 words - 6 pages Isabel Allende in House of the Spirits portrayed many seemingly minor characters that ended up having a greater role than expected. One of the unexpected characters was Alba. Despite the fact that Alba was not born until chapter nine, she played a significant role in the plot of the story and character dynamics of the Trueba family and other strong men and women. This then lead to the fact that Allende built up powerful and outspoken

Literary Analysis: "The Stranger" And "The House Of The Spirits"

1196 words - 5 pages The novels The Stranger and The House of the Spirits have distinctly different plots. The authors of the books have different styles and techniques used to create their vision of a great story. In The Stranger by Albert Camus and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, the characters, Meursault and Esteban Garcia are established as socially distant from their associates. They have neither emotion nor remorse for anything they have done

Comparison: "The House Of The Spirits" And "The Outsider"

1102 words - 4 pages The two novels that I will compare in this literary essay will be "The House Of the Spirits",by Isabel Allende, and "The Outsider", by Albert Camus. In "The House Of The Spirits", there are many themes present in the novel that can be tied into the setting of the novel, for instance, the magic vs. realism theme is portrayed well with the big house on the corner. In "The Outsider", there is not as much themes in the novel that can be tied into

Film: The House Of The Spirits

1144 words - 5 pages The House of the Spirits is a dramatic film made in 1993. The film tells the story of the Trueba family. Esteban Trueba is a violent patriarch but full of love for his wife Clara. It's a story that intertwine love , family conflict , misunderstanding , tenderness and social injustice , where each member has their own identity amidst the random events that dot the history of the twentieth century , Chile . The protagonists live the changing