The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Aside from acting as a foil to Férula Trueba (see our discussion of this under "Character Roles"), Tránsito plays an important function in the plot of the novel. The recipient of one of Esteban Trueba's rare acts of generosity, Tránsito uses the 50 pesos he lends her to finance her entrepreneurial ambitions, and eventually establishes herself as the most well-connected madam in the country. While this favor may seem insignificant at first, we know that nothing happens by chance in this novel. Esteban later runs into Tránsito on three separate occasions while she's in the capital, and though she offers to pay him back, he prefers that she owe him a favor. He cashes in that favor in a major way at the very end of the novel when he begs Tránsito to help him find his granddaughter, who's been "disappeared" by the military regime. Illustrating the power of the sex industry, in only two days Tránsito does what Senator Trueba has been unable to do.