The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
The House of the Spirits Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- How would the novel change if the story were to follow the male lineage of the Trueba family instead?
- What significance do names have in The House of the Spirits? What does it mean that some names are repeated, like Esteban and Pedro, while others are intentionally unique?
- How do the two houses in this novel differ? Which one is more significant to the story – the big plantation house at Tres Marías or the big house on the corner in the capital? Are the houses associated with particular characters?
- What name do you think Alba will give her daughter, presuming that she wants to follow in the tradition of naming the women of the family after "luminous words" (9.1)?
- Cuban literary critic Roberto González Echevarría makes the claim that many Latin American novels contain the figure of an archive that becomes a source of information and inspiration for the novel's story – the archive could be a diary, a letter, a library, or any other collection of written records. How do archives in The House of the Spirits propel the story forward? How might those archives be considered either fictitious or truthful?
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