Individuals rely on fictional tales in order to access a deeper understanding of reality. However, since reality is too complex to explain in pragmatic terms, authors are sometimes forced to turn to other means of explanation. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, incorporates magical elements into a familiar atmosphere in order to explain one’s relationship with the world. Overall, through Clara’s magical abilities which show her inexorable love for her family, Allende demonstrates how a woman’s relationship with her loved ones changes the course of their lives.
For example, Clara’s spiritual abilities allow her loved ones to preserve their dignity, particularly as death takes the best of them. While Clara and Ferula search for Nivea’s decapitated head, “guided by her instincts for seeing what [is] invisible,” Clara says to the driver, “’Go straight, I’ll tell you the route” (Allende 122). Through ...view middle of the document...
Undoubtedly, as an individual decides that it is better to die than to live, they are at the weakest point in their life. Clara’s spirit appears for Alba specifically, in order to assist her in recovering from her demise, and guiding her to live with perseverance. All in all, the abilities attributed to Clara allow her loved ones to overcome the unexpected shock and seemingly seductive nature of death.
Furthermore, Clara’s magical abilities consolidate the bond between Clara and Esteban, and assist Esteban in becoming a better man. Immediately upon Clara’s death, Esteban is devastated. Somehow, although others are not able to identify the noises, “he knew that the strange noises the servants said they heard were made by Clara” (394). Throughout the novel, the reader is led to believe that Esteban is selfish man who acts foolishly upon impulse. By being able to identify that Clara is responsible for the strange noises, the lonely Esteban shows that he is essentially searching for Clara in his home. Although they did not speak to one another prior to Clara’s death, Esteban loves her far more than he loves anyone else, and begins to become rather humble as a result. Moreover, Esteban realizes that as he gains patience, he connects with his dead wife. In his final days, Esteban recalls “how she did not leave him for a second,” and wonders whether “he was dreaming that it was his wife who held his hand and kissed his forehead” (431). Allende’s use of imagery evokes the reader’s senses and enhances the couple’s never-ending bond. Even immediately prior to Esteban’s death, Clara is able to change Esteban into a patient individual who cherishes her love through his memory. Essentially, through Clara’s spirit, Esteban’s character makes a positive transformation.
Overall, the love of a woman can change the course of her loved-one’s lives. This concept is demonstrated vividly in The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, where magical elements are incorporated to explain the aspects of reality which would otherwise be incomprehensible.