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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Find the perfect quote to float your boat. Shmoop breaks down key quotations from The House of the Spirits.

Family

The House of the Spirits is a family saga, so it's pretty much impossible to avoid talking about the theme of family in this novel. The text examines relationships between mothers and daughters, fa...

Memory and The Past

We get two whole sentences into The House of Spirits before we're hit with the theme of reclaiming the past. And, in a sort of beautiful symmetry that we literature nerds get super excited about, t...

Literature and Writing

The theme of writing is interwoven with pretty much all of the themes of The House of Spirits – writing helps the characters "reclaim the past and overcome terrors" of their own (there's "Mem...

Perseverance

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 su...

Violence

As dark and unpleasant as this may sound, we have to admit that violence occupies a central role in The House of Spirits – especially violence against women. Some have accused Allende of bein...

Women and Femininity

Women occupy a central role in the history of the del Valle and Trueba families. Because we're following the maternal line of the family, last names change, but the connection between mothers, daug...

Society and Class

You could say that The House of the Spirits is a story of class struggle. Yes, it's a family saga, a love story, and a history lesson, too. But all of these aspects are affected by the class struct...

The Supernatural

Since The House of the Spirits is classified as a work of magical realism, it makes sense that spiritual and supernatural phenomena figure prominently in the novel. You've got your run-of-the-mill...

Freedom and Confinement

From the very opening of The House of Spirits, when we're presented with the image of a caged puppy, the reader is invited to contemplate the themes of freedom and confinement. Barrabás's conf...

Politics

The House of the Spirits presents a literary version of a political fiasco, namely the events leading to the 1973 coup d'état in Chile that removed Socialist President Salvador Allende from po...
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