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Antigone and the house of the spirits

Plot summary[ edit ] The story starts with the del Valle family, focusing upon the youngest and the oldest daughters of the family, Clara and Rosa. The youngest daughter, Clara del Valle, has paranormal powers and keeps a detailed diary of her life.

Using her powers, Clara predicts an accidental death in the family. Shortly after this, Clara's sister, Rosa the Beautiful, is killed by poison intended for her father who antigone and the house of the spirits running for the Senate.

He sends money to his spinster sister who takes care of his arthritic mother in town. He turns the first peasant who spoke to him upon arrival, Pedro Segundo, into his foreman, who quickly antigone and the house of the spirits the closest thing that Trueba ever has to an actual friend during his life.

Esteban returns to the city to see his dying mother. After her death, Esteban decides to fulfill her dying wish: He antigone and the house of the spirits to the Del Valle family to ask for Clara's hand in marriage.

Clara accepts Esteban's proposal; she herself has predicted her engagement two months prior, speaking for the first time in nine years. During the period of their engagement, Esteban builds what everyone calls "the big house on the corner," a large mansion in the city where the Trueba family will live for generations. She curses him, telling him that he will shrink in body and soul, and die like a dog.

Although she misses her sister-in-law, Clara is unable to find her sister-in-law by any means and the gap between her and her husband widens as she devotes her time to her daughter and the mystic arts. The family, which resides in the capital, stays at the hacienda during the summertime. Blanca and Pedro grow up together as best friends despite them being of two different social and economic classes. During their teenage years, Blanca and Pedro Tercero eventually become lovers.

Clara spends her time teaching, caring for her husbands battered body, and writing in antigone and the house of the spirits journals while Blanca is sent to a convent school and the twin boys back to an English boarding school, both of which are located in the city.

Pedro Tercero meets with Blanca in secret adopting disguises while also spreading his ideas in the form of song to neighboring haciendas. A visiting French count to the hacienda, Jean de Satigny, reveals Blanca's nightly romps with Pedro Tercero to her father. Esteban furiously goes after his daughter and brutally whips her. When Clara expresses horror at his actions, Esteban slaps her, knocking out her front teeth.

Esteban, furious and lonely, blames Pedro Tercero for the whole matter; putting a price on the boy's head with the local corrupt police. At this point, Pedro Segundo deserts Esteban, telling him he does not want to be around when Trueba inevitably catches his son. Enraged by Pedro Segundo's departure, Trueba begins hunting for Pedro Tercero himself, eventually tracking him down to a small shack near his hacienda. He only succeeds in cutting off three of Pedro's fingers, and is filled with regret for his uncontrollable furies.

Blanca finds out antigone and the house of the spirits is pregnant with Pedro Tercero's child. Esteban, desperate to save the family honor, gets Blanca to marry the French count by telling her that he has killed Pedro Tercero. At first, Blanca gets along with her new husband, but she leaves him when she discovers his participation in sexual fantasies with the servants.

Blanca quietly returns to the Trueba household and names her daughter Alba. Clara predicts that Alba will have a very happy future and good luck. Her future lover, Miguel, happens to watch her birth, as he had been living in the Trueba House with his sister, Amanda. They move out shortly after Alba's birth.

He becomes isolated from every member of his family except for little Alba, whom he is very fond of. Esteban runs as a senator for the Conservative Party but is nervous about whether or not he will win. Clara speaks to him, through signs, informing him that "those who have always won will win again" — this becomes his motto. Clara then begins antigone and the house of the spirits speak to Esteban through signs, although she keeps her promise and never actually speaks to him again.

A few years later, Clara dies peacefully and Esteban is overwhelmed with grief. Alba is a solitary child who enjoys playing make-believe in the basement of the house and painting the walls of her room. Alba and Pedro are fond of each other, but do not know they are father and daughter, although Pedro suspects this. Alba antigone and the house of the spirits also fond of her uncles.

When she is older, Alba attends a local college where she meets Miguel, now a grown man, and becomes his lover.

The House of the Spirits

Miguel is a revolutionary, and out of love for him, Alba involves herself in student protests against the conservative government. After the victory of the People's Party a socialist movementAlba celebrates with Miguel. Fearing a Communist dictatorshipEsteban Trueba and his fellow politicians plan a military coup of the socialist government. However, when the military coup is set into action, the military men relish their power and grow out of control. Esteban's son Jaime is killed by power-driven soldiers along with other supporters of the government.

Antigone and the house of the spirits the coup, people are regularly kidnapped and tortured. Esteban helps Blanca and Pedro Tercero flee to Canadawhere the couple finally find their happiness. The military regime attempts to eliminate all traces of opposition and eventually comes for Alba. When Alba loses her will to live, she is visited by Clara's spirit who tells her not to wish for death, since it can easily come, but to wish to live.

Alba explains that she will not seek vengeance on those who have injured her, suggesting a hope that one day the human cycle of hate and revenge can be broken. Alba writes the book to pass time while she waits for Miguel and for the birth of her child. Main characters[ edit ] Some of the characters' names are significant, particularly the women's names, which often indicate the personalities of the characters.

Clara del Valle Trueba[ edit ] Clara one of its translations is the equivalent of English "clear", although it antigone and the house of the spirits also a common female name is the key female figure in the novel. She is a clairvoyant and telekinetic who is rarely attentive to domestic tasks, but she holds her family together with her love for them and her uncanny predictions.

Even as a child her strangeness is noticed and seen as a threat to many in her community.

Otherwise, her family and devoted Nana protect her from her strangeness. She and her uncle Marcos use her powers to run a fortune-telling centre as she developes other paranormal activities like dream reading. Her uncle eventually leaves in a primitive airplane he built himself, disappearing for many months, assumed dead but later is found to die instead as the result of a 'mysterious African plague' contracted during his travels.

Clara practices divining and moving inanimate objects, most notably a three-legged table, and she is surrounded by friends such as the psychic Mora sisters and The Poet.

As Clara grows up, she developed her abilities and is even able to communicate with ghosts and spirits.

Clara represents love and cherishment. Clara's marriage to Esteban Trubea is something she accepts but she never truly loves him and knows from the beginning that she will never do so. She is disinterested in material things and takes for granted what is her high economic standing.

Esteban Trueba[ edit ] Esteban Trueba is the central male character of the novel, and along with his granddaughter Alba, is one of the story's main narrators. However, while he is working in the mines she dies by accidental poisoning: Although he eventually marries Clara Rosa's sister and youngest daughter of the Del Antigone and the house of the spirits and raises a large family, Esteban's stubborn and violent ways alienate all those around him.

Esteban has a tense relationship with his daughter Blanca but shows genuine love and devotion to his granddaughter Alba. Later in life he turns to politics where he spends his money and effort trying to prevent the rising Socialist movement within the country. However, after the military coup he loses much of his power and suddenly has to face the fact that he has become an old and weak man.

Yet it is not the loss of power, so much as the injury done to his country, that antigone and the house of the spirits the highly patriotic Esteban.

His realization that he desires the love of his family and peace in his country leads to a pivotal change in his character. In his last days, he slowly loses the rage that has been driving him all his life.

Esteban dies happily, knowing that he has achieved Clara's posthumous forgiveness.

Blanca Trueba[ edit ] Blanca is Clara and Esteban's first-born daughter. Their friendship endures, though they only see each other in the summer, and upon adolescence they become lovers. Their antigone and the house of the spirits persists even after Pedro is run out of the hacienda by Esteban, because he is putting communist ideas in the other workers' heads. After she becomes pregnant with Pedro Tercero's child, her father forces her to marry Count Jean de Satigny, whom she does not love.

Antigone and the house of the spirits Blanca leaves the Count and returns to the Trueba home, she sees Pedro sporadically, resisting his attempts to persuade her to marry, but their relationship continues.

Blanca's reconciliation with her father eventually allows her to flee to Canada with Pedro, where they finally are able to achieve happiness together. Blanca is also able to earn large amounts of money for the first time by selling her clay figurines, which are seen as folk art by Canadians. At a young age, he falls in love with Blanca and is the father of her only child, Alba.

In his youth, he spreads socialist ideals to the workers on the hacienda, and later he becomes a revolutionary and a songwriter his character may be modeled after revolutionary songwriter Victor Jara.

It is mentioned that he resumes his political crusade during his exile in Canada where his music is embraced in translation even if "chickens and foxes are underdeveloped creatures" in comparison with the "eagles and wolves" of the North. From before her birth, her grandmother Clara decreed that she was blessed by the stars. Because of this, Clara said she didn't need to go to school and was raised at home until she was seven. The novel ends with Esteban's death, and Alba antigone and the house of the spirits alone in the vast Trueba mansion beside his body.

The last paragraph reveals that she is pregnant, although she does not know or care whether the child is Miguel's or the product of the rapes that she endured at the hands of security police, during her imprisonment. Severo's candidacy for the Liberal Party of Chile promptly came to an end after someone tried to poison him, but got his daughter Rosa instead. The details of the accident were hidden from their daughter Clara, because she was pregnant at the time.

However, her intuition brings her to the location of the lost head, which ends up being hidden in antigone and the house of the spirits basement since the body had already been buried. La Nana[ edit ] Having served the Del Valle and Trueba families all her life, Nana is close with all the children that she had taken care of, especially Clara. Nana passes away in an earthquake and was buried antigone and the house of the spirits fanfare.

Her body is later moved to the mausoleum with Clara's and Rosa's bodies. Her unearthly beauty intimidated everyone in the village except for Esteban Trueba, who was enamored with her and sought her hand in marriage. Rosa waits patiently while Esteban slowly accumulates wealth working in the mines in order to feel worthy of Rosa. Esteban returns to find that Rosa had died from consuming poison meant for her father. Though never truly forgetting Rosa, Esteban marries her sister Clara instead.

As a shy, bookish and compassionate doctor who treats the poor, he stands out against his outgoing twin brother Nicolas and his cantankerous father.