Quote 4

"I set my curse on you, Esteban!" Ferula shouted back. "You will always be alone! Your body and soul will shrivel up and you'll die like a dog!"

After discovering her in bed with Clara, Esteban throws Ferula out of his house and tells her that if he ever sees her near his family again, he will kill her. Ferula goes, leaving this curse on her brother. Every action in The House of the Spirits eventually comes back to haunt or help the characters. It is not necessary, therefore, for Ferula to curse Esteban in order for his cruelty to her to effect him later on in life. The curse here works as a foreshadowing. Ferula predicts as much as she causes what will happen to Esteban. Fitting the tradition of magical realism, however, this curse also works quite literally. Not only is Esteban increasingly estranged from his family, but his body actually begins to shrink enough for Esteban to notice it and to travel to the United States to consult doctors there.