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    Poverty Perspectives of House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    In five pages this research essay considers Chilian poverty from the perspectives offered in House of Spirits by Isabel Allende. Two sources are cited in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_khhosp.rtf

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    the first half of the twentieth century. The story reflects the political reality of Latin America, as discrepancies in wealth and status help to define the characters. Only a privileged  minority, such as the del Valles family that is featured early in the novel, lead a life of comfort. Their lifestyle contrasts with the shrinking middle class, which is having  a difficult time. This is shown by the poverty and distress of Esteban Truebas mother and his sister, Ferula (Magill 229). The poverty of the peasant class and the urban  slums are described by Allende in realistic detail, and it is clear that at least part of her purpose in writing this novel is to document this tragic situation.  A survey of the attitudes of four of the novels characters toward this pervasive poverty shows how Allende intertwines this subject into the fabric of her narrative.  Clara del Valle-Trueba Clara is the most discussed character in the novel. It is Clara that embodies the novels purpose and meaning, as she serves as a metaphor for  memory and time, as well as for possibilities in the future (Magill 227). These aspects of Claras personality manifests itself in her psychic ability. Clara marries Esteban Trueba after the  tragic death of her sister Rosa, who was Estebans fiance. Clara does not love Esteban , but her psychic ability leads her to believe that her duty to others resides  within this marriage. This feeling is verified when she visits Estebans estate for the first time. Poverty and neglect of the peasant class is immediately evident to her. Clara  is a positive force in the lives of everyone in the novel, particularly in the life of her granddaughter, Alba. It is largely from her grandmother that Alba inherits her 

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