A few months later, Esteban must tend to Tres Marias. Clara and Ferula live happily together in the big house on the corner. Ferula's devotion to Clara deepens. After nearly ten months, Doctor Cuevas delivers Clara and Esteban's daughter Blanca by cesarean section.


Clara does not need to make any radical breaks with tradition to be an exceedingly independent woman. Her refusal to speak, although at first motivated by fear of the power of her words, is her first great gesture of self-assertion. Since traditionally women are meant to submit their opinions and their voices to those of men, this could be seen as a subservient gesture. However, as the Rumanian Rostipov explains, Clara does not talk because she does not want to. When Clara does speak, it is to announce her marriage to Esteban. Once again, her marriage is in many respects quite traditional. However, Clara is the first to announce the marriage, and Clara asks Esteban if he wants to marry her. When Clara speaks, she uses simple, assertive sentences. The verb "will" appears in many of her utterances. Clara never mistrusts her intuition, nor does she allow any room for anyone to question her. In addition, Clara marries Esteban without any romantic notions either of the love between them, or of anything good that might come from the marriage. Clara makes no secret of her attitude. She does not tell Esteban outright that she does not love him, but she never dissimulates her feelings. She never learns any of the domestic skills that would allow her to perform the role of the traditional wife. Clara carries out all of this with the greatest apparent passivity. Through supposedly traditional feminine passivity, Clara resists traditional feminine roles. Ferula's presence in the household tips the gender balance. In the traditional and acceptable space of female friendship, Ferula and Clara develop a bond deeper than that of either woman to Esteban. Ferula in particular devotes herself entirely to Clara. Ferula's passion for Clara is so strong that it borders on romantic and sexual desire.

The structure of the big house on the corner is a metaphor for the structure of the entire novel. Esteban builds a house that on the surface is straightforward, if somewhat ostentatious. Similarly, The House of the Spirits can be read as a traditional romance novel, following a single family over several generations. However, the narrator informs us as Esteban builds the house that it will end up full of complicated, twisted, and impractical additions. Despite its apparently traditional structure, The House of the Spirits contains an enormous number of complicated twists of plot. The title of the novel underlines the association: The House of the Spirits refers both to the book as a whole and also to the big house on the corner, which, thanks to Clara, is always full of ghosts and spirits.