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The House of the Spirits; Little Alba 
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Post The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

Little Alba



Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:41 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
One thing that rings true in this chapter is when Clara is telling Alba that madness runs in every family. But with the Trueba family it is divided up equally. No kidding.

I need to have the book back to the library on Wednesday. Sure hope I can finish it.



Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:44 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
In the end I had to buy the book, but it wasn't too bad. I got a second hand one from Amazon for £1.99 and free postage.


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Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:07 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
Have you noticed how all the main female characters have similar meaning names? I think Allende chooses the names very carefully e.g Barrabas the dog. I can't quite see any connection with the male names though, mostly they are the names of biblical characters or saints.
Also we have a reference to dolls and eyes again, where Clara takes Alba's side in her dislike of dolls claiming that 'those tiny porcelein corpses with eyes that opened and shut and perverse, pouting mouths were repulsive.'
It reminds me of the dream Esteban had where Rosa hurled a tiny girl with no eyes at him.


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Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:58 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
When Alba secretly plays in the locked basement and finds the rug of Barrabas, it seems to be a statement about psychoanalysis, with the basement representing the unconscious mind, full of symbols. Uncle Marcos' magic books are another unconscious symbol, with deep influence on Alba.

Alba is the granddaughter of Esteban and Clara. Her real parents are Blanca and the communist Pedro Segundo. Her father's identity is hidden from her for reasons of social status, but when they meet they see themselves in each others' eyes.

Esteban becomes best friends with his granddaughter, a statement of how the hidden intertwined links between the classes cannot be escaped. Again, he lectures her about conservative politics, explaining that without capitalist leaders who give direction and tone, the workers degenerate into a rabble. Allende seems quite sympathetic to this aristocratic line, despite her revolutionary sympathies. It is a paradox.

Allende apparently read all of Shakespeare, and his studied ambiguity about politics comes through in her depictions. Despite her explanation of Esteban's temper and criminal behavior, speeches such as this justification for capitalism are conveyed positively.


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Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:21 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Little Alba
First sentence in this chapter ... Alba was born feet first, which is a sign of good luck.

***** Ha ha! Good luck, eh? Not for the mother giving birth! My first child came down head first alright, but she was facing the wrong way - rather difficult! Glad neither of my daughters came out feet first - PTL!



Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:58 am
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