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The House of the Spirits

The House of the Spirits


by Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits Politics Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

He knew that Nívea went out at night to hang suffragette posters on walls across the city and that she was capable of walking through the heart of the city in the plain light of day with a broom in her hand and a tricornered hat on her head, calling for women to have equal rights with men, to be allowed to vote and attend the university, and for all children, even bastards, to be granted the full protection of the law. (2.76)

From Esteban's perspective, Nívea's status as a suffragette is a cause of embarrassment. However, her participation in the movement to earn the right to vote for women establishes a tradition of feminist activism that several of her female descendents will follow.

Quote #2

The peasants were still living exactly as they had in colonial times, and had not heard of unions, or Sundays off, or the minimum wage; but now delegates from the new-formed parties of the left, disguised as evangelicals, were beginning to infiltrate the haciendas, with a Bible tucked under one armpit and Marxist pamphlets under the other, simultaneously preaching the abstemious life and revolution or death. (2.80)

The fact that proponents of Marxist ideas have to go "disguised" indicates that their ideas are very unwelcome in the countryside, and suggests that opposing those with political power is a dangerous enterprise.

Quote #3

The patrones threw them a big party with empanadas and lots of wine, barbecued a few cows specially slaughtered for the occasion, serenaded them with songs accompanied on the guitar, beat them over the head with a few political harangues, and promised them that if the conservative candidate won the election they would all receive a bonus, but that if he lost they would lose their jobs. In addition they rigged the ballot boxes and bribed the police. (2.90)

The electoral process leading to yet another conservative victory isn't portrayed as being fair and open, nor does it seem the voters have the freedom to act in their best interests.

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