disney_skin
Advertisement
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Analysis

Literary Devices in The House of the Spirits

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

One day Pedro Tercero takes his girlfriend to visit his granddad (Old Pedro García) and Gramps tells them a story. It goes a little something like this: every night, a mean old fox would sneak...

Setting

To understand the setting of The House of the Spirits, it helps to think about the novel on two levels – a micro level and a macro level. On the micro level, it's the story of a wealthy famil...

Narrator Point of View

So, you're reading along, and everything's pretty straightforward. The narrator's telling us the story of the del Valle family like she's a psychic fly on the wall – she's uninvolved, but she...

Genre

While The House of the Spirits definitely qualifies as a family drama and a work of historical fiction (see the section of "Setting" for more about the history that informs the book), it's also one...

Tone

The author's tone is often playful and sympathetic, especially during the beginning parts of the novel. The follies and failures of the characters are told with lightheartedness and a certain unwav...

Writing Style

Allende's style in The House of the Spirits is, for the most part, very flowy and organic, as if she were telling the story orally. Reading the text, we feel as though we're listening to a gifted a...

What's Up With the Title?

The title brings up all sorts of associations for us – first of all, this novel is about a family, and the story of that family revolves around a house. It's "the big house on the corner," an...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

How much does a man live, after all?Does he live a thousand days, or one only?For a week, or for several centuries?How long does a man spend dying?What does it mean to say "for ever"?PABLO NERUDATh...

What's Up With the Ending?

The ending of The House of the Spirits leaves us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. After bawling over Chapter 14 for seventeen pages, it's such a relief to know that Alba makes it home to her gran...

Tough-o-Meter

While this novel contains some vocabulary that might be unfamiliar to you – words like hacienda and patrón that come from Spanish – for the most part the language is pretty easy to...

Plot Analysis

Conservative Party in powerFor the first ten or eleven chapters of the novel, the Conservative Party is the only show in town. Esteban Trueba, a member of the landowning class, makes his fortune wh...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rebirth

While The House of the Spirits contains some tragic elements – like an ambitious hero who messes things up for himself, a creepy "shadow figure" who pops up every once in a while – the...

Three Act Plot Analysis

This is a pretty long act. It covers Clara's childhood at the beginning of the novel to the military coup, when those who supported the Socialist Party have to go into hiding or, like Alba, help ot...

Trivia

Allende began writing this novel in the form of a letter to her dying grandfather on January 8, 1981. It became such a success that she considers January 8th to be a lucky day, and now begins all o...

Steaminess Rating

This book definitely contains a lot of sex. All kinds of sex. There's married sex, teenage sex, prostitution of the gay and straight varieties, true love sex, group sex, and even sex with a dead bo...

Allusions

Saint Sebastián (1.1)Jesuit, Society of Jesus (1.9, 4.99) The Virgin Mary (1.18, 5.3)Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ (1.19, 5.45, 5.102)San Antonio/ Saint Anthony (1.21, 3.1)Our Fathers and Ha...
Advertisement
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
back to top