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The House of the Spirits; Revenge 
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Post The House of the Spirits; Revenge
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

Revenge



Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:46 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
Hmm. think I'm talking to myself here. Bt no matter. I don't always agree with me anyway.
‘The more distant Clara became, the more I needed her love’ says Esteban. I actually start to feel sorry for Esteban now. He loses everyone in this chapter. Old Pedro Garcia dies, deaf and blind. Esteban does not miss an opportunity to consolidate his social standing and arranges a wake that everyone will remember as a major event. Yet old Pedro Garcia seems not to have benefited from the aid he gave Esteban in life – he dies without even a pair of shoes to his name.
We meet Estebans ten year old grandson - he is putting a nail through a chicken’s eye as his great grandfather is dying, and when Pedro Garcia does die, he tries putting a nail through his eye. Did all the previous references to eyes and blindness presage the appearance of this Esteban?
Esteban Trueba’s temper finally is totally out of control and he attacks Blanca and Clara after he finds out about the affair of Blanca and Pedro Tercero As Clara removes her ring, we are reminded about ‘that memorable night when Barrabas was assassinated with a butcher’s knife’. Is this a hint that Esteban was indeed the killer of Barrabas?
Blanca, Clara, and the nearest thing he has to a friend, Pedro Segunda, all leave as a result. ‘I felt so alone after that!’ says Esteban, but he has no insight that it is his behaviour which has led to his loneliness, and instead focuses all his rage on Pedro Tercero.
Esteban is led to Pedro Tercero by his grandson, whom he does not recognise. After Esteban chops off three of Pedro Tercero’s fingers, the grandson offers them to him ‘like a bouquet of bloody asparagus’. That boy is seriously disturbed, and capable of wreaking even more havoc than his grandfather. But worse. He does it with no temper.


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Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:44 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
Hi Heledd, I am reading your posts, and others are too. Pleased do keep going, and I will try to keep up. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

Pedro Tercero Garcia stands for Victor Jara, the great Chilean revolutionary songwriter who the Pinochet regime imprisoned and killed, but not before they had smashed his hands and asked him to play guitar, rather like the Roman soldiers inviting Jesus Christ to come down from the cross. The three fingers that Esteban axes from Pedro's hand are symbols of Victor Jara's hands.

The stadium where Pinochet killed thousands of communists and fellow travellers is now named after Victor Jara.

I want to write more about my sympathy for Esteban. I agree with you that he inflicts his loneliness on himself. Did you notice the comment that he offers a massive reward for capture of Pedro Tercero, and his slimy bastard grandson who betrays Pedro tells Esteban that everyone knew where Pedro was except Esteban. This mass solidarity against the fury of oppression is a big theme in Latin American politics.

We used to sing a song that is connected to Victor Jara - El pueblo unido jamás será vencido when I was at university. You can hear it at http://soundcloud.com/homosapiens/victo ... eblo-unido
It still makes my spine tingle. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_pueblo_ ... A1_vencido for history and translation.


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Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:42 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
No Heledd, please don't feel alone. I read and appreciate all your posts! I think I am in this chapter now - I will admit I am having difficulty finishing this novel because I just don't like it, but I am determined to see it through.



Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:42 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
heledd wrote:
Hmm. think I'm talking to myself here. Bt no matter. I don't always agree with me anyway.
‘The more distant Clara became, the more I needed her love’ says Esteban. I actually start to feel sorry for Esteban now. He loses everyone in this chapter.


I'm still with you Heledd and enjoying your posts. Finished this chapter yesterday. But I just can't feel sorry for Esteban. Lack empathy I guess. Feel sorry for other characters in the book.

Sorry that I can't relate to the symbolism and political traits like you and Robert can. Never been good at it until someone points it out.

I am enjoying The House of the Spirits, just wish I had more time to read it at one sitting.



Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:05 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
Robert Tulip wrote:
We used to sing a song that is connected to Victor Jara - El pueblo unido jamás será vencido when I was at university. You can hear it at http://soundcloud.com/homosapiens/victo ... eblo-unido
It still makes my spine tingle. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_pueblo_ ... A1_vencido for history and translation.


Thanks for that. You can sure feel the emotions in the song even if you don't understand what is being said.

I had an opportunity to visit Ecuador for 3 months when I was 19. 1977 if my memory is correct. My girlfriend and I met so many young men who had fled from Chili and were fearful of returning. They sang with a passion!



Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:19 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
The free translation - singable in English - The People United Will Never Be Defeated

I think it illustrates the passion of the class conflict in Chile. There is a sense that the oligarchic order is evil, and only through civil war can a just society occur. I find this immensely sad, because as Ms Allende observes, Esteban Trueba brings progress to the poor through his vision and hard work and skill. Without entrepreneurial individual leaders, economies stagnate. The class struggle idealised in this song reflects the prejudicial oppression of the traditional order, but as the history of socialism and communism show, class struggle is not a recipe for economic development.

Quote:
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido - Sergio Ortega, English Trans' Cornelius Cardew

Stand up and sing for victory will come
The banners of union assemble in the sun
And you'll be there beside me on the march
Then you'll see the banners and the singing
Bursting forth, the dawn whose coming we proclaim
Red as blood, its' rays set us aflame
Stand up and fight, our hearts are all aflame
A new life is coming to put the past to shame
Your happiness is part of this our fight
A thousand cries will rise into a clamour that will
Proudly sing and we cannot be wrong
Freedom is the content of our song
Chorus
Now is the time for the people to rise up
In struggle and utter their war cry: advance!
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido

Our country is rising, its unity is strong
From north to south they come to join the throng
From nitrate fields the men are streaming in
Streaming in from the forests in the south, they are
Together now, their struggle has begun
Their union foretells the shape of things to come
Stand up and sing in a million blending parts
The people will win for the truth is in their hearts
Of steel our will, battalions we will build
Justice and reason will be our battle cry
Now look the women too, their hearts are bold and brave
Ranged beside the workers mighty wave
Chorus
Now is the time for the people to rise up
In struggle and utter their war cry: advance!
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido
The people united will never be defeated


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Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:24 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
Robert - thanks for the info on Victor Jara. I knew there was significance in the three severed fingers but could not figure it out. Sometimes real life is more horrible than anything fictional.
Kelstan - could you explain what it is about the book you dislike? Or is it just the whole package of politics, murder, writing style, etc?
Kelstan - sometimes I'm not sure if I'm writing a load of nonsense or not, and not sure that what I am reading is what I am meant to understand, so don't worry. By the way, I sincerely hope you don't get 'dismembered', cos your posts are very witty.


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Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:16 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; Revenge
So is there a 'real person' for each of the characters in this book?

And yes, I appreciate the comments posted here - I too am lagging behind on the book - not because I don't like it - I love it. I just have other projects on the go.

Today, I'm catching up 'cause the book's due back at the library tomorrow and I've used all my 'renewals'.



Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:43 am
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