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The House of the Spirits and Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Comparison

Uploaded by Voltaire2202 on Feb 28, 2002

When analyzing Isabel Allende's and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's lives, parallels between them become increasingly obvious, thus the rationalization for some of the similarities that are observed between their historically fictional novels The House of the Spirits and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, respectively. One of the most obvious parallels is the influence of women on both of them. Allende dedicates The House of the Spirits "to my mother, my grandmother and all the other extraordinary women of this story," showing feminine influence, and Marquez grew up in a household with his grandmother and numerous aunts, therefore he would also show the influence of women; also, both novelists are from Latin and South America, thus they both would most likely show literary elements that are characteristic of that geographic area. Because of their similar influences, the theme of 'the great mental, and sometimes physical, strength of women' is prominent in both of their works. When analyzing this theme in both novels, the two most distinct semblances are: in both novels at least one female character has the sagacity to possess some kind of preternatural ability, and women have the strength to endure a marriage without loving their suitor. Although the works are very similar, there are some differences. Two differences between the works are that in Allende's novel, when they are children, women are not taught domestic, not taught about the sacrifices of marriage, whereas in Marquez's novel, they are; and how each author portrays some of these similarities and differences contrast.

Characteristically, Latin American fictional novels exhibit elements of magical realism; these two novels are no different. One of the most prominent characters in Allende's work, Clara, is an example of a character who Allende uses magical realism to characterize. Clara "could interpret dreams….could predict the future and recognize people's intentions, [and] abilities….[could] move objects without touching them" (Allende 66-67) and other things that are beyond the abilities of most other characters. Other female characters exhibit characteristics like Clara in the novel, but none as pronounced or developed as hers. In Marquez's novel, Placida "had a well-earned reputation of an accurate interpreter of other people's dreams," (Marquez 4) and many other female characters get premonitions and omens before Nassar is killed. Both of these authors use magical realism to give the reader the feeling that there is something beyond that physical world, something important contained in our dreams, and they use...

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Uploaded by:   Voltaire2202

Date:   02/28/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   7 pages (1,493 words)

Views:   1939

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