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The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias 
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Yes, Esteban finds a real soul mate in Transito, and suprisingly he finds her ideas refreshing and exciting, while condemning those of Nivea. But any sort of relationship between them would never work, as she is from a different class and way too independent. He appreciates her business like approach. She does play a major role later in the book, but don't want to spoil it for you.
Darn! I can't see us finishing this discussion before I go back to Gambia, so I'm going to have to buy the book and take it with me. I'm already over my luggage allowance. Wish it was on Kindle!


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Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:06 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Esteban explains himself in an aside. He says he was a good patron because he rescued his farm from dereliction through hard work and organisation. He condemns class struggle, and argues that agrarian reform – distributing land to peasants – has made people poorer. He says peasants should be loyal to their masters who will provide for them, and that class struggle is wrong.

Esteban’s first instruction to the peons on his farm are that they have the choice to work or eat, with no slacking or lip. Through these harsh methods, he repairs his house, plants and irrigates his fields, and provides medical care for the peasants and the animals.

There is much sense in Esteban’s argument. He points out that before his arrival, many peasants died from hunger because of the massive risks of crop failure with subsistence agriculture on family plots. A minor frost or snail plague could leave babies dead. By bringing them into the modern cash economy, he provides health, education, food security and reputation.

Here we see the dilemma of development in a nutshell. People like to dream about socialist cooperation, but individual initiative and skill are the only things that bring wealth. Individual success also brings hatred, in response to the contempt shown by the rich for the poor.


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Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:11 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Yes, there is sense in his argument, but he does not carry it through to its conclusion. he rages that he believes in effort and reward. 'Thanks to that i've been able to achieve what I've achieved. I've never asked anybody for a favor and I've never been dishonest, which goes to prove that anyone can do it.' But when he leaves Tres Marias in the hands of Pedro Segunda Garcia 'his responsibilites as foreman had brought him no more privileges, but only more work'.


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Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:29 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Sorry to go on about the dog again! But I thought the way he died, '...the white Chantilly lace, the French silk of the sofa, the Persian carpet, and the parquet floor absorbed his blood.' Does this seem like an allusion to the blood of peasants which created the ability to buy such luxuries in the first place?


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Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:57 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
heledd wrote:
Sorry to go on about the dog again! But I thought the way he died, '...the white Chantilly lace, the French silk of the sofa, the Persian carpet, and the parquet floor absorbed his blood.' Does this seem like an allusion to the blood of peasants which created the ability to buy such luxuries in the first place?



Or perhaps an allusion to the fact that nothing there was of Chilean origin? All the fine things were imported from elsewhere. She could have called it watered silk to show that it was a luxury, but calling it French shows perhaps that local goods were not included in their lives?



Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:38 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Well, I can't hate him - he can't be anyone but who he is. Still, his ways with peasant women are upsetting. There are things I like about him - his industriousness - his vision. I always like seeing someone put something together from ruins.

I'm watching the movie on You Tube, then reading, then going back and watching the segment over again.

Was anyone put in mind of Tolstoy when reading of this 'hacienda'? Of his ideas for his farm workers?

When I started reading this I didn't think I was going to like it. There's so much going on in that first segment, so much unbelievable stuff, the green hair, etc., that I had no patience for it.

Now? Thanks to someone here putting up the link to the movie, I'm really getting into it.

Now, on with the next segment!



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Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:44 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Yes you are right. Perhaps that's why I felt sorry for him at the end


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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Thanks to everyone who has been posting. I received my book just before heading off on a trip and have been reading it this past week and am almost finished. I have just read through all the postings and wish that I had been following along during my reading as I would have enjoyed the book even more than I have so far. Being unfamiliar with South American history and also where Allende was from, I was uncertain of the setting and also uncertain of how much of the story was based on real events. I did not have computer access during my reading to do any research.

One thing that struck me was Allende's ability to show the absence in life of black and white, in family, in love, in politics, in history.



Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:39 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Glad you are enjoying it. I really want to carry on with this discussion, as we are at the last section of the book. I haven't been able to participate properly for the last few days. Damifino - did you manage to finish the book before it went back to the library?


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Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:55 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
heledd wrote:
Damifino - did you manage to finish the book before it went back to the library?



No, I'm afraid not. I had had no problem getting the book from the library so I was a little surprised when I tried to renew it someone had requested it.

I did a wee bit of skimming before taking it back so I think I got the gist of what happened. I jotted down the names of the chapters that I didn't read and keep looking for comments in the threads.

I have enjoyed reading your posts Heledd and hope to join you in another read. :)



Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:58 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Man you guys are deep thinkers. Think I may have gotten in over my head with discussing with you's.

***** It's a little deep for me too - but still, I love the story - it's just great.

As I stated before I detest Esteban. He gets turned on by melons growing in the field?

***** Yeah - ha ha! In the second part of the movie where he rapes the girl, you will see how he's thinking of melons. That girl's got some set of boobs there.

Wonder if we will read more on Transito Solo. She is the prostitute from the Red Lantern.

***** Yeah, well she promised she'd be back and she does come back.
He likes her - she's got a heart like his own - ambitious.



Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:37 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Well, I'm about a third of the way through the book and loving it.



Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:46 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
Damifino - Thanks. I've enjoyed your postings too. I can't do the current book because it's not available in UK yet - so I'd have to send it out to Gambia, and by then the discussion would be over. What are you currently reading?


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Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:03 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Three Marias
I'm still working through the book. A page and a half a day. I'll catch up.



Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:35 am
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