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The House of the Spirits

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.

  1. How would the novel change if the story were to follow the male lineage of the Trueba family instead?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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)?
  5. 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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