The House of the Spirits

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Information about The House of the Spirits

Published on January 21, 2014

Author: circewine



Isabel Allende's novel The House of the Spirits

The House of the Spirits Written and first published in Spanish in 1982, The House of the Spirits, was Allende’s first book. And in 1993, it was released as a film with a star-studded cast. It is directed by Bille August and starring Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas and Vanessa Redgrave. When I saw these stars I decided to watch and summarize about this novel for my homework. I extremely recommend that you should watch this film. I really enjoyed. The story takes in Chile, second half of the 20th century. It is about the life of a young lady named Clara during the military dictatorship in Chile. Beginning of the film, Clara is a little child of del Valle family who has special psychic powers. She can see the future, she is clairvoyant. But she is not able to change the future, only to see it. And she predicts her death in the family and the next day her sister Rosa dies after drinking poison intended for her father, Senator Severo. Clara is so shocked by the event that she stops talking. At the funeral, Rosa’s fiancé Esteban is devastated who works hard in the gold mines until he has enough money to buy a small farm in the country. And he decides to go to live on his farm alone. He works hard and eventually becomes rich. He buys hacienda (a large farm in Spanish-speaking countries). He gives a name his hacienda, TresMarías. He finds many natives living on his land and tells them to work for him for food and shelter.One day he rapes a peasant girl, PanchaGarcíawho works for him. Esteban also has sexual relations with prostitutes, including Transito Soto. Transito and Esteban become friends, and he lends her money to move to the city. Twenty years later, Esteban receives a letter stating his mother has died. At her funeral, Esteban sees a grown Clara and proposes marriage, despite his sister Ferula's protests that Clara is too sickly and will not take care of him properly. When he shows up at the Del Valle family's house to marry Clara and she speaks again for the first time in twenty years. Esteban and Clara are married. They move into the big house and Ferula moves in with them. A deep friendship is established between the two women.Férula develops a strong dedication to Clara. Soon, Clara announces that she is pregnant with a girl named Blanca. Before giving birth, Clara’s parents are killed in a car accident.Some years later, PanchaGarcía appears at the family house with her and Esteban's bastard teenage son, Esteban García. She asks for money and tells Esteban Trueba that he cannot get rid of her and his son. Esteban García comes back to the house later when no one is looking. He finds Blanca and begins to molest her. Férula calls Blanca's name and Esteban García runs away.

Clara has been giving classes to the peasant children and Blanca. Pedro Tercero, the little son of the peasant Segundo at Tres Marias befriends Blanca, and after school she goes out to play with him. The two are gone for hours, and Esteban Trueba, Férula, and Clara start worrying. The two children are eventually found playing in the lagoon. Esteban Trueba does not like that his daughter is playing with a peasant boy and decides to send Blanca to a boarding school.After graduating from school, Blanca returns home to TresMarías and meets Pedro at the lagoon secretly because Esteban banishes Pedro from the property for trying to arouse a revolutionary spirit among the peasants. One night, while Esteban attends a political party, there is an earthquake, he worries about Clara and Blanca and drives all the way to TresMarías and finds that Ferula curls upin bed with Clara. He is so angry that he banishes his sister from the household. As she leaves, Ferula curses him to eternal loneliness. Sometime later, Esteban brings the French Count Jean de Satigny to his home intending to arrange a marriage betweenhim and Blanca. That night at dinner, Férula’s ghostvisits the household to bid farewell to Clara, kisses her on the forehead and leaves again. Clara tells the rest of the family that Férula is dead. Clara and Esteban drive into town to Férula's modest house, where they find her dead on the bed. Pedro has returned to TresMarías and talks to the peasants about their rights and nearly gets shot by Esteban. That night, the Count Jean de Satigny, who is visiting again, watches Blanca and Pedro meeting secretly at the lagoon. He tells Esteban what he sees. Esteban promises to kill Pedro. When Clara tries to persuade him against violence, Esteban hits his wife and she falls. When Clara rises, she coldly tells him that she will never speak to him again. Clara moves with Blanca to her parents house in the capital. Now alone in TresMarías, Esteban blames Pedro for everything, and offers a reward to anyone who will lead him to Pedro's hiding place. Esteban García takes him to where Pedro is hiding and Esteban tries to kill him, but he is unsuccessful. When García asks for his reward, Esteban Trueba replies that traitors do not get rewards, and García walks away in anger. After Blanca discovers she is pregnant, Esteban tries to force a wedding between Count Jean de Satigny and Blanca, so as to not have any bastards in the family. He tries to convince his daughter by telling her that Pedro Tercero is dead. Blanca angrily refuses, but her mother eventually comforts her by telling her that Pedro is still alive. Blanca has her daughter. Esteban becomes a senator. Eventually, Esteban visits Clara and Blanca and they make up.Although he moves in with them, Clara still does not talk to him and he constantly keeps feuding with Blanca. While the family is celebrating Alba's birthday, Esteban García arrives at their home. Blanca does not recognize the man who abused her as a child. García tells Esteban Trueba that his mother is dead and asks to help him get into the military academy, reminding him of the reward he never received. Trueba writes him a cheque. During the national election, Esteban believes his Conservative Party will win as usual, but the People's Front ends up winning control of the government. Blanca and Pedro are able to meet regularly now, and things seem to be perfect. Their happiness, however, is short-lived.

While Clara and Alba are setting up their Christmas tree, Clara feels she is leaving this world and decides to prepare for death. She gives Alba her notebooks and jewelry to give to Blanca. Kissing Alba goodbye, Clara dies. When Blanca and Esteban arrive home, Alba tells them of Clara's death, and the three of them hug and cry together. Meanwhile, a conspiracy between some Conservative Party members and the military leads to a coup d'état, and the military takes control of the country. At first Esteban believes it is good for the country and that the military will hand power back to the Conservative Party, but he soon learns that the military have other plans. Under the control of the military, people associated with the People's Party are captured and even killed. Blanca is highly involved and eventually the police come to arrest her for being with Pedro Tercero. Blanca quiclky reveals to her father that Pedro has been hiding in their house's cellar and begs him to help Pedro get out of the country. In the coming days, Blanca is tortured and abused by her half-brother Esteban García, now an important member of the military. She nevertheless refuses to reveal Pedro's whereabouts. She is put in a cell where Clara's spirit appears to tell her not to wish for death. Meanwhile, Esteban honours his daughter's wishes and helps Pedro Tercero find exile in Canada. Esteban then tries to free his daughter from prison, turning to Tránsito, now an influential Madam with lots of connections, who helps free Blanca. One morning a beaten and dirty Blanca arrives at her home. Esteban is shocked to see his daughter in such a state and her wish for revenge against the military, and understands for the first time the consequences of his political actions. Blanca and Esteban return to TresMarías with Alba. Esteban is finally visited by Clara's spirit who has come to help the old man to the next world. Afterwards, Blanca sits outside and ponders her life, in which she gives up her attempt for revenge and now focuses on Pedro and her daughter Alba. She watches Alba playing in the front door with the leaves swirling in the wind.

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