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

The Time of the Spirits



Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:50 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
It is at Tres Marias that Blanca and Pedro Tercero Garcia meet for the first time as children. Clara, the mother has finally discovered her mission in life in practical help towards the peasants. The peasants are used to being indoctrinated, and listen politely to both Ferula’s religious litanies, and Clara’s suffragette beliefs. The younger Clara had previously written in her notebook about the absurdity of her mother and her suffragette friends ‘in their fur coats and suede boots speaking of oppression, equality, and rights to a sad, resigned group of hard working women in denim aprons, their hands red with chilblains’.
It’s strange that Ferula, always given to self sacrifice and miserly ways finds life in the country so difficult. ‘I want to live like a human being, the way I always have’ she complains. The similarity between Ferula and Esteban is emphasised.
‘She was one of those people who are born for the greatness of a single love, for exaggerated hatred, for apocalyptic vengeance, . . . .’ Both Esteban and Ferula compete fiercely for Clara’s love. Why did Clara refuse to name one of the twins after Esteban? Perhaps because she knew there were many other ‘Esteban’s’ back in Tres Marias?
Esteban continues his self deception in this chapter ‘Now I want to make it clear that I’m not a man for whores . . .’ as if that is the worse thing that he could be accused of when we know that ‘Not a girl passed from puberty to adulthood that he did not subject to the woods, the riverbank, or the wrought-iron bed’. Pancha, the first girl that Esteban raped, dies in this chapter, and her father has to ask permission off Esteban to take her to the doctor. The narrator does not mention any help offered by Esteban towards her treatment.
Clara’s powers are now so solid as to be unbelievable. She knows about her mother’s decapitation without being told, and finds the head immediately. The scene of Clara giving birth to the twins with her mother’s decapitated head; open eyed and watching is totally bizarre.
We are introduced to the three Mora sisters in this chapter – who have already established telepathic contact with Clara. This is consistent with the theme of the sea, pirates, mermaids, which is a continual thread through the book. The Three Sirens were mythical figures which lured sailors to their death by attracting them to the rocky coastline. But who is being lured? Or are they representative of the Three Muses - one born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third who is embodied only in the human voice. (Wikipedia).
Terrific book, Robert. Many thanks for suggesting it


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Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:22 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
Was just thinking of the comparison between Transito Soto, the prostitute, and the wealthy suffragettes. Transito has worked her way up from her Red Lantern days and is fiercely independent. The suffragettes would have poured scorn on her achievements as a prostitute, but above all, Transito is a business woman with clear ideas of her own on 'equality'. 'But why give a man something it's so hard to earn? In that respect women are really thick. They're the daughters of rigidity. They need a man to feel secure but they don't realize that the one thing they should be afraid of is men'.


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Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:55 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
heledd wrote:
The scene of Clara giving birth to the twins with her mother’s decapitated head; open eyed and watching is totally bizarre.


No kidding! Could you imagine? And then leaving it in the house. You're gonna have to dispose of it eventually. Doesn't make as a very good hand me down if you ask me.



Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:03 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
Do you figure the three legged table is an Ouija board? Got to be. I remember having one of those around when we were kids. Freaked me out.

Poor Nana. The only Christian in the group. It's a wonder she managed to hang on.



Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:14 am
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
Yeah - that's how I see that three legged table - a Ouija board.

That was hideous about the mother's head.

I kept thinking there was a head in that box she always carries - in the movie, I mean. But of course it wasn't the head - her mother wasn't dead then.

I'm almost afraid to watch this part of the movie - ha ha!

I just love this book.



Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:40 pm
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Post Re: The House of the Spirits; The Time of the Spirits
Yeah, that's what they seem to be doing with the three-legged table - a ouiga board. And I think that connects with the 3 female spirits that visit periodically.

Duhhhhh ... I know - that was easy.



Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:30 am
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