Is Isabel Allende A Feminist English Literature Essay

The online dictionary defines feminism as the 'notion in the public, political, and financial equality of the sexes. ' While radical feminists believe that in order to totally achieve equality a complete overthrow of the existing patriarchal system and a total social reorganisation is essential, most feminists simply imagine woman should have access to all the things to which men have access.

It has been widely discussed whether Isabel Allende is, herself, a feminist and whether her novel THE HOME of the Spirits is promoting feminism or whether it's, in fact the contrary and Allende is merely reinforcing traditional stereotypes. Isabel Allende is in no way a radical feminist; whilst implying as she will that the patriarchal world in which the women in her book are oppressed, must be overthrown and reorganised, she actually is still presenting a feminist account where the assertive women do not bow with their male counterparts, and they are constantly striving for his or her independence. The ladies throughout the book are unconventional and seek freedom from the men who mistreat them. They want to break the restrictions placed upon them by the patriarchal world, such as matrimony to a suitable person, somewhat than to the main one they love. The concentrate of the story follows the female lineage through the family promoting their equality through their intellect, love and morality. Allende does indeed use the role of women in her novel to present her own feminist point of view, but does that make her "a feminist"?

The ladies in THE HOME of the Spirits are sophisticated yet vibrant individuals who keep that target throughout the book. Although there are many men who feature in the story, their roles mainly revolve around the female characters. Comparisons have been made between the characters of Nivea, Clara, Blanca and Alba in the book with the different periods in the women's movement during the same amount of time in Chilean sociable and political record. It can be clearly seen that it is Nivea, who encourages feminist causes, who represents early on moves of women's suffrage, while Clara instead chooses to focus her needs on being equal in her own home. She constantly faces battles for freedom with Esteban who constantly attempts to repress her. Blanca unlike her mom is more vigorous in her quest for liberty. Although she will not openly revolt, she often rebels against her father's decisions. The type of Alba presents women in enough time of the sexual revolution who gone against conservative ideals and were much more experimental and exciting. All of these women are able to defy the patriarchal system in different ways. Whilst Nivea and Alba are more active than Clara and Blanca, they embody the change from the campaign for suffrage by middle and higher course women, to the central incorporation of women in the revolt up against the militant federal. Although women aren't totally liberated at the end of the novel, women are accepted and included a lot more in society.

Clara can be an example of a solid willed independent female who does not allow her man to acquire total control over her. Clara's man Esteban frequently abuses her and attempts to dominate her; however she never actually allows him to do so. While protecting her little princess, Esteban slaps Clara and to punish him for his betrayal, Clara vows never to speak to him again. Although her silence is seen as a fragile attempt at defying her man, it is actually a powerful weapon against him, with which she can truly overpower her husband. While Esteban remains infinitely better and more literally powerful, it is Clara's subconscious ability over Esteban which is long lasting and for that reason more dominating. Although he may have the ability to physically overpower her, Clara is the one who supports the control in their romantic relationship. The pain that Esteban feels during the time in which Clara won't recognize him, is a lot more agonizing and annoying than anything Esteban could do to Clara. It's been commented that if Clara were truly a feminist seeking self-reliance, then she'd seek to divorce her abusive spouse; however the time in which the story is defined, divorces wouldn't normally have been accessible. Allende is trying to mention an authentic demonstration of life during the early twentieth century in Chile, whilst still allowing the ladies in the story to resent the enforced restrictions placed upon them.

Another independent girl in the book is the princess of Clara and Esteban, Blanca, who also won't submit to traditions and is also defiant of her dad. During the history Blanca falls deeply in love with a worker in her father's mine named Pedro Tercera. Despite his lower school standing and her already organized marriage to the right man, Blanca resists her father's needs so long as she can; although when violently beaten by her dad she provides in and marries the Count despite not adoring him. Blanca is another exemplory case of Allende's feminist outlook in that there may be more to life than rules and social course. Although Blanca has prosperity and a good cultural ranking, she constantly defies her dad, choosing freedom rather than money and electricity. Blanca is forced into marrying someone she will not desire to be with. Blanca's refusal to remain in her arranged relationship, reinforces her rebellion against her daddy and against traditional prices. Although Blanca's activities are limited she still does what she can without having to be totally disowned by her daddy, to be with the man she is in love with. Although she is hitched to the Count, Esteban cannot stop Blanca from being with Pedro and she in the end ends up in the forearms of her real love showing that not even her father's assault will keep her under his control. The actual fact that Pedro is the daddy of Blanca's child Alba, despite not having the ability to be with him, is evidence that Blanca continues to be in control which her dad cannot dominate every aspect of her life.

Alba, could very well be the most radical of all the Del Valle- Trueba women. She embarks on the relationship with a leftwing radical known as Miguel. Their sexual relationship, despite their not being married, shows how Alba is able to break tradition and become with the person she selects. Alba unlike the prior decades of women can live as she pleases, gladly with the man she loves. But when Alba immediately defies the federal government, she is caught and obligated into a jail camp where she is repeatedly abused in physical form and sexually. Again this highlights the injustices women constantly experienced during this time when these were used at a man's will. With the prison camp the women have the ability to group together and support each other through their tortures. Despite her horrific experiences at the camp, Alba shows great moral identity and chooses to keep carefully the unborn child inside her, that could possibly have been fathered by one of her rapist attackers. Alba shows extensive power and compassion knowing the social results which would follow if she were to truly have a child out of wedlock, particularly if it was the child of an rapist. As a result of this, Allende is able to present the heat and love of a woman. At the same time, she is also in a position to portray a person who is able to make decisive options showing that girls are not vulnerable and incapable.

Allende's presentation of the oppression faced by women, with the regular styles of rape, prostitution and home violence, allows women to reclaim their unspoken voices. Throughout history women have been silenced and neglected, as men have had total control throughout culture and politics. Allende is able to draw after her own encounters surviving in Chile and documents well the underlying issues of gender inequality throughout public and politics areas. Allende is able to take a few of this oppression and injustice to which women have been subjected, and put it at the forefront of her story, bringing promotion to a previously unspoken area. She cleverly addresses the problems encountered by women to acquire equality and freedom over their own lives whilst at exactly the same time still presenting a captivating story during key points in Chilean background.

Arguments have been made against Allende's perceived feminism. Some may criticise her feminism by claiming that the ladies are not so dynamic or empowered, but they are simply dealing with the situations they face as best they can. Along with the exemplory case of Clara's silence, it isn't a lot that she does not wish for him to have the ability to dominate her or psychologically touch her, but that divorces were not obtainable, and so silence was the only way for her to split up herself from him. Nonetheless it is noticeable throughout the book that Clara is strong and self-employed, and because she can see the near future, she can change it and condition it however she can. She actually is in no way a passive women who selects to idly remain away and let her partner dictate guidelines to her. It can also be considered that Allende is not trying to be feminist; that she is simply documenting a combo of her own top middle class experience with a lady perspective; that she actually is not seeking to liberate the women in her account. However this is also a poor analysis. Though it is true to say that Allende has drawn upon her own encounters which could have been limited to traditional conventional viewpoints, Allende is also striving showing the repression women constantly face by this traditional patriarchal system. That girls are constantly abused and dictated to; that girls not allowed to make their own decisions; that girls are required to post to the will of men due to the fact culture views them as poor. It can be regarded as a woman-centred reaction to the paradigmatic wording of sensational realism; Gabriel Garca Mrquez's, A HUNDRED Many years of Solitude.

It can be clearly seen that Isabel Allende uses the functions women to convey her own feminist point of view. Allende, being one of the first female writers to enter the literary increase in Latin America, cleverly exposes the injustices of women and how women were required to act using ways because of their man domination. However, her tale also shows the ways that women could try to withstand this domination; that even when repressed and abused, these women could still not be defeated. Whilst Blanca is forced to marry a guy of her father's choice, her father cannot dictate who she shares her body with. The blatant contrast between the strong willed women and the original worth of the patriarchal system are constantly clashing. However the women in the novel never quit; they never surrender with their oppressor's cruelty. Alba although raped and tortured will not give in and remains strong. Allende, like her personas, is empowered through writing and tracking of her own background, and the annals of Chile. She is a feminist in so far as she reveals women as the better sex who are able to triumph despite the patriarchal society in which they live. Nonetheless it is so much more a tale of triumph through and over adversity, rather than a radical feminist tale.

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