The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Miguel, Ana Díaz, Professor Sebastián Gómez
Miguel, Alba's boyfriend, is a young, committed revolutionary with radical ideas. He advocates violent revolution in order to confront what he calls the violence of the system. Though his politics are extreme, he's a coolheaded leader whose situational assessments tend to be right on the money. Miguel's more realistic than his idealistic brothers-in-arms, and he's able to see that Alba supports the revolutionary cause more out of love for him than out of any political conviction of her own.
When Alba attends university and falls in love with Miguel, he draws her into a radical crowd. Of these young revolutionaries, we know two by name. The first, Professor Sebastián Gómez, is a crippled ideologue who's rumored to have lost the use of his legs while fighting with the guerillas in Bolivia. The other, Ana Díaz, is a fiery young woman who doesn't believe the bourgeoisie should meddle in the affairs of the people. Both are eventually persecuted by the military regime – Sebastian Gómez is betrayed by his own students and killed in the first round of university purges, and Ana Díaz winds up as Alba's cellmate in prison.
Ana encourages and inspires Alba, and the friendship the two women develop while in prison, and later in the women's concentration camp, serves as a model of feminine resistance in the face of hardship. Ana and the other female prisoners are bold, caring, and nurturing, able to deflect humiliation with laughter and erase the memory of rape and torture with their support for one another.