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Quotes

Quote #10

An exalted state of mind could easily put her into a trance in which she would move around the room while sitting in a chair, as if there were a hidden motor underneath the cushions. (9.11)

This is one of the most memorable examples of Allende's use of magical realism in the novel. To lend authenticity to the outlandish idea of an old lady floating around in an armchair, the narrator reports that Clara's levitation is even documented by an artist whose painting winds up in a British museum. It's not a trick of the imagination or an artist's fanciful defiance of the laws of physics, the narrator claims, but reality.

Quote #11

Perhaps he was dreaming that it was his wife who held his hand and kissed his forehead, because in his final days she did not leave him for a second. […] At first she was just a mysterious glow, but as my grandfather slowly lost the rage that had tormented him throughout his life, she appeared as she had been at her best, laughing with all her teeth and stirring up the other spirits as she sailed through the house. She also helped us to write, and thanks to her presence Esteban Trueba was able to die happy, murmuring her name: Clara, clearest, clairvoyant. (Epilogue.44)

The supernatural is a source of comfort and inspiration in the novel. Clara's ghost provides the impetus for Alba's exercise in writing, as well as assistance in the completion of the testimony. Esteban seems to be more in touch with Clara as he loses his anger, suggesting that rage and desire for vengeance may prevent people from communing with the spirits.

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