The House of Spirits is full of astounding illustrations of perseverance in the face of adversity, from Esteban Trueba's fierce determination to rise above the poverty of his childhood to Alba's survival of torture in the secret military prisons of the dictatorship. Several characters in this novel overcome physical mutilation, political oppression, and the limitations of societal expectations in order to achieve their goals and to somehow attain measure of happiness.
Alba's participation in the Socialist movement as well as her survival of the tortures of imprisonment are primarily due to the influence and assistance of other, stronger characters in the novel. Alba perseveres thanks to her relationships with more dedicated people.
Though Tránsito Soto has more obstacles to overcome than Esteban Trueba in order to achieve wealth and status, she ultimately becomes more successful and more powerful than he does.