A Comparison of Female Roles in the Works of Isabel Allende, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Machado de Assis
Women’s roles in society have been the subject of literary scrutiny since time immemorial. There is no need to enumerate the countless works that delve into the question of what a woman is, can be, and should be. This essay sets out to compare and contrast the female roles presented in the works of three Latin American writers: Isabel Allende, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Machado de Assis. Although all three are giants of Latin American literature, their works couldn’t be more different in terms of style and approach. What unites them, however, is their focus on women and their place in society.
2. Female roles in the works of Isabel Allende
Allende is a Chilean writer who is best known for her novel The House of the Spirits. In this work, she tells the story of a family through the eyes of its female members. The book spans several generations and covers a wide variety of topics, including love, death, politics, and magic. Throughout the novel, the women are depicted as strong and capable individuals who are often able to save those around them from disaster.
One of the main characters, Clara del Valle Trueba, is a wife and mother who is also a gifted clairvoyant. She uses her powers to help her husband build his business empire and to protect her family from harm. She is a wise and compassionate woman who is able to see beyond the everyday problems that beset most people.
Another significant female character is Clara’s daughter, Blanca del Valle Trueba. Blanca is a headstrong young woman who falls in love with a man from a lower social class than her own. Despite the objections of her family, she marries him and has a child with him. When her husband dies unexpectedly, she is left to raise their son alone. Despite the challenges she faces, she manages to build a successful career for herself and becomes one of the most respected women in Chile.
The third important woman in The House of the Spirits is Alba del Valle Trueba. She is Blanca’s daughter and heir to the Trueba fortune. When she comes of age, she rebels against her family’s conservative values and becomes involved with a Marxist revolutionary group. She eventually joins the armed struggle against Pinochet’s dictatorship and becomes a leader in the resistance movement.
Allende’s novel paints a picture of women as strong and capable individuals who are often able to overcome great obstacles. They are shown as complex characters with their own goals and desires. Although they may sometimes make mistakes, they ultimately emerge victorious thanks to their courage and determination.
3. Female roles in the works of Juan Carlos Onetti
Onetti was an Uruguayan writer whose work often dealt with themes of alienation and existential angst. His novels often featured male protagonists who were adrift in a meaningless world devoid of love or hope. In contrast to Allende’s novels, which focus on female strength and empowerment, Onetti’s works depict women as cunning and harmful creatures who ultimately bring about the downfall of his male protagonists.
One example of this can be seen in Onetti’s novel The Shipyard. The book tells the story of Rafael Barrios, a shipyard worker who dreams of one day becoming a famous writer. When he meets the beautiful and mysterious Silvia, he falls in love with her and impregnates her. She then abandons him, leaving him to raise their child alone.
The novel culminates with Rafael’s descent into madness. He comes to believe that Silvia is still in love with him and that she is trying to control his mind. In the end, he kills her and himself.
Onetti’s novel presents a stark contrast to the way women are depicted in Allende’s work. While Allende’s female characters are shown as strong and capable individuals, Onetti’s women are presented as cunning and mean creatures who ultimately bring about the downfall of his male protagonists.
4. Female roles in the works of Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis was a Brazilian writer best known for his novel Dom Casmurro. The book tells the story of Bento Santiago, a man who suspects his wife, Capitu, of having an affair with his best friend, Escobar. Bento becomes obsessed with proving his wife’s infidelity and ultimately drives himself mad in the process.
Throughout the novel, Machado de Assis explores the idea of gender roles and what it means to be a man or a woman in society. He challenges traditional notions of masculinity and femininity and presents his characters as complex individuals with their own desires and motivations.
While Allende’s female characters are shown as strong and capable individuals, and Onetti’s women are presented as cunning and mean creatures, Machado de Assis’ women occupy a more nuanced middle ground. They are neither good nor evil, but rather complex individuals with their own goals and desires. In this respect, they are more similar to Allende’s female characters than to Onetti’s.
In conclusion, it is clear that there are many different ways in which Latin American writers can depict women in their work. While Allende’s female characters are shown as strong and capable individuals, Onetti’s women are presented as cunning and mean creatures, and Machado de Assis’ women occupy a more nuanced middle ground. Ultimately, it is up to each individual author to decide how they want to portray women in their work.
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