In the novel The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende the epilogue is
a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel.
In the novel ‘The House of the Spirits’ by Isabel Allende the epilogue
is a conclusion to all that has happening in the novel. In
demonstrates the overall themes of recurring cycles throughout the
lives of the characters, and also of the importance of the past and
memories. The cycles run throughout the book, but in the epilogue we
see how they are beginning to be broken and new cycles are being
formed. The tone of the final chapter is both hopeful and cheerful at
the beginning, and melancholic almost to depression by the end. The
symbol of the old house on the corner is powerfully portrayed in this
final chapter, representing both Clara’s presence and spirituality,
but also Esteban’s fading wealth and power. Magical realism is used to
help distort the distinction between reality and fiction. Finally we
see the growth of the central character of this chapter, and the
narrators of the book, Alba and Esteban.
In the epilogue of the novel, Alba has returned from being held in a
concentration camp. She and her grandfather Esteban Trueba restore the
old house on the corner. Esteban dies peacefully in Alba’s arms Alba
is revealed to be pregnant and she begins to read her grandmother
Clara’s diaries and her mother Blanca’s letters and begin to piece
together the story the was just told.
The one of the main themes in the epilogue, and in the entire novel is
that of cycles, history repeating itself and fate. Alba has become
pregnant, and is renewing the cycle by continuing life, making the end
of the story the beginning of another one, the tale of her daughter.
It also tells how the novel was written, as it is now revealed that
Alba is the unknown narrator telling the story in the third person.
This relates the end of the novel back to the start. Another
connection between the finish and start of the novel is that at the
last paragraph states, ‘Clara wrote them so they would help me now to
reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own. The first is an
ordinary school copybook with twenty pages, written in a child’s
delicate calligraphy. It begins like this: Barrabas came to us by
sea…’ while on the first page is begins ‘Barrabas came to us by sea,
the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in
the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she
was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty
years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome
terrors of my own.’ This completes the cycle of the novel, by coming
full circle back to the beginning.
However, although Alba is continuing the cycles, she is also breaking
them. The most important cycle she is stopping is the cycle of revenge
that is ongoing through the book. Even though she would like to get
even with Esteban Garcia for raping and torturing...