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

The Lovers



Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:48 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
I wondered at the end of chapter two about the significance of Esteban’s dream, where Rosa appeared and hurled a tiny girl with no eyes at his feet. I’m no nearer an answer on this one, but am struck at the number of appearances of unseeing characters. Nivea’s decapitated head stares open eyed from the bureau as Clara gives birth to the twins. The dying Barrabas ‘looked up at her with lovesick eyes that gradually dimmed and grew blind…’.The only adolescent boy to climb to the top of the tall tree, had no eyes to see it with, and plummeted to his death before he could finish carving his initials. Ferula, the ghost ‘looked at everyone with her empty indifferent eyes, . . .’ Pedro Garcia had survived the earthquake, ‘thanks to his blindness and his age’ and is able to heal Esteban’s bones.


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Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:59 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
Allende packs so much into each chapter. When I read the first chapter I was amazed at the range of events she managed to discuss; bypassing what I would call a natural ending to the chapter, and continuing with a further two or three big topics. Yet the chapters are not over long.
As its title suggests, this chapter charts the maturing of the childish friendship of Blanca and Pedro Tercero Gomez.
But this chapter also deals with a catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and ash clouds which ruined dwelling places and crops. Clara has foreseen the earthquake and claims there will be ten thousand dead. Estaban dismisses this with a laugh, and claims ‘there aren’t that many people in the whole country’.
If this is the Chilean earthquake of 1939, as seems likely, the number of dead totalled over thirty thousand. Perhaps Allende is hinting that Estaban has no real knowledge of his own country?
We also have the deaths of two central characters. Nana and Ferula.
Although they were bitter enemies in life, their deaths have quite a few similarities. Both die alone, and both seem to have engaged in some form of role play. Under Nana’s bed they find a bundle containing the costumes she had used to frighten Clara out of her silence many years ago. Nana continued to frighten Clara for a long time, against the express wishes of Nivea to. Is it possible that rather than trying to shock Clara out of her muteness, she enjoyed the opportunity to play a different role in life? Or was it a subtle form of rebellion against the class that employed her?
Ferula is found ‘Festooned like an Austrian queen, she wore a moth eaten velvet dress and petticoats of yellow taffeta. On her head, firmly jammed down around her ears, shone the incredibly curly wig of an opera star.’ Father Antonia explains that she liked to wear clothes from second hand shops, or picked up from garbage. This is quite different to the Ferula, who at Tres Marias ‘maintained her rigid dignity, her unchanged bun, her starched blouse. . . .’ and wore corsets, ‘even on days when she had a lot of work’. Ferula dies ‘magnificent in her queenly desolation and on her face was an expression of sweetness and serenity she never had in her grievous life’. Perhaps her dismissal from the Trueba household and in refusing Esteban’s support she was freed her from the constraints her class demanded of her, and finally able to express her own personality?


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Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:31 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
Esteban’s temper also reaches cataclysmic proportions in this chapter. Allende neatly undermines and emphasises how totally ridiculous and unreasonable his behaviour has become when he smashes up the phone because it did not stop ringing when he told it he was coming!


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Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:03 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
Isn’t it strange how sometimes a work of fiction can often be extraordinarily accurate in capturing a series of events?
I was looking for details of the tsunamis in Chile. I could not find details of a 1939 tsunamis, so assumed for literary reasons Allende had added details of the 1960 tsunamis to the novel. But there was a tsunami 1n 1939,
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10059/1039300-82.stm
and ash from the volcano also added to the devastation
http://www.avo.alaska.edu/volcanoes/vol ... age=basics


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Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:32 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
I left the book at work yesterday so I can't tell you which page this was on. Remember when Blanca and Pedro Tercero watched a mare give birth to a colt? I snorted my coffee when I read "Blanca felt her breasts shoot for joy" after witnessing that.



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Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:40 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
I loved your reaction Damifino. I'll never be able to read that part again without thinking of you snorting into your coffee. Perhaps she does go a bit over the top sometimes.


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Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:08 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
What impressed me in this chapter was the way the character, Clara was given a boost.

Her husband was buried in all that rubble, and she seemed to snap out of her wandering, wide eyed trance, jumping in there and helping everyone remove the rubble, trying to dig him out.

That's the most character Clara showed so far.



Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:04 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
Do you know what I thought was going to happen? That Esteban, the bastard child
of Blanca's father, would be the one to team up with her, as her lover. That would
have been pretty complicated.

And I am now wondering about Pedro. Is it gonna' turn out that he too is one of his father's bastards?

.................................................

I actually feel for Esteban when he finds his sister, Ferula sleeping with
Clara - although he is a hell of a rascal himself, I understand his fury
with his sister. She truly DOES interfere a lot.

.................................................

In part 5 of the movie on You Tube, the boy who plays Esteban's bastard son, Esteban,
actually looks like the actor playing Esteban Sr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4h68Hdw ... re=related

..................................................

That's so creepy when Ferula's ghost walks in on them at dinner. And when she's lying there dead and Clara closes her eyes.

This is another spot where Clara's character improves - she's no longer the dazed, confused overgrown child now.

..................................................

Oh, man - when Clara says "I will never speak to you again" she can do it,
like nobody else can do it.

..................................................

That finished it for me with Esteban - all the sympathy I had for him went
when I saw he was going to shoot Pedro while he was sleeping. Then, refused
to give Esteban, Jr. the reward.

..................................................



Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:46 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Lovers
Anybody got the idea I just love this book? Just love this movie too!

Thanks to whoever was responsible for getting it going here.



Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:48 pm
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