full title The House of the Spirits
author Isabel Allende
type of work Novel
genre Magical realism
time and place written 1981, Venezuela
date of first publication First publication in Spanish, 1982. First publication in English, 1985.
publisher Plaza & Janes, in Spanish. Knopf, in English.
narrator Alba and Esteban Trueba
climax None, although there are many moments which appear to be a climax, notably each birth and each death
protagonists Clara, Blanca, and Alba
settings (time) The twentieth century
settings (place) Tres Marias and the capital of an unspecified Latin American country
point of view The point of view switches between the first person of Esteban and a third person omniscient narrator who turns out to be Alba
falling action Chapter fourteen, The Terror, when Alba is abducted by Esteban Garcia, and Esteban Trueba realizes how much damage he has caused
tense Past and future
tones Calm and dispassionate, even while presenting extremely violent, passionate, and unbelievable events (characteristic of magical realism)
motifs Class struggle; political upheaval; women's roles and rights; the power of writing; fate and free will; genealogy and inheritance; revenge
foreshadowing Throughout the novel
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