Isabel Allende’s novel, “The House of the Spirits”, depicts a crude, male macho culture where women do not possess the right to have any ‘say’ against their male counterparts. Therefore, their response to the male monopolies and patriarchal ideologies of their society…
On the contrary, the women are passive, subservient and puppet-like in the hand of their male counterparts. It is not that they do not long for freedom of action and choice; indeed, they long for it and attempt to exert stealthily. But when their ambition are revealed, they have been mercilessly silenced down by the men around them. All of the protagonists in Allende’s novel are, more or less, vulnerable to male violence and brutality. They are powerless in the face of the men’s superiority and macho possessiveness. Despite their powerlessness, they challenge the patriarchal authority by feminine mode of protests such assuming reclaiming maiden name, resort to silence, self-withdrawal, etc. After all, the women’s status, as portrayed in the novel, is more like an addendum to their men than a self-dependent individual.
Like any patriarchal society, the fate of Allende’s women is determined greatly shaped and determined by the men around them. They are the objects of male lust like other properties which belong to a man. Obviously, these women belong to a society which is run by rigid patriarchal ideologies. In the novel, Esteban’s character seems to personify all those patriarchal ideologies. He believes that marriage is the best protection of a woman who is unable to ensure their own safety because of their psychophysical inferiority. So, he sent “Jaime and Nicolás were sent to a Victorian English boarding school” (Allende 78). The father in Esteban believes that Blanca’s destiny was “marriage and a brilliant life in society, where the ability to converse with the dead, if kept on a frivolous level, could be an asset” (Allende 78). Indeed, Allende’s women are imprisoned in a rigidly defined social gender-role. He believes that since women are both physically and mentally immature, their activities should remain confined to childrearing, cooking, etc within the four-walls of ...
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(THE SITUATION OF WOMAN ( THE HOUSE OF SPIRITS) BY ISABEL ALLENDE Essay)
“THE SITUATION OF WOMAN ( THE HOUSE OF SPIRITS) BY ISABEL ALLENDE Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/english/645347-the-situation-of-woman-the-house-of-spirits-by-isabel-allende.
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