Love: Torn Between Passion and Great Hate in the House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Love: Torn Between Passion and Great Hate

Love is a constant reminder throughout The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende; it flows freely through each and every character in one way or another. Allende has written a novel where at one point of another each and every one of the characters is deeply in love. The relationships and the love that these characters are in are never clearly defined. And though love itself mean something different to every individual, this novel exemplifies the uniqueness that a person feels when they themselves are truly in love. The love in the novel is not just that felt between a man and a woman, but the love of a grandfather for his granddaughter or the secret love that must be hidden from society. Allende has made love itself a character that can be followed by the reader just as they follow Blanca or Alba throughout their lives.

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One character in particular that deals with many varieties of love as her life progresses through the novel, Alba seems to encompass the idea of love taking on a life of it’s own. Even when Alba is a young child the reader is introduced to the strange affection that Esteban Trueba feels for his granddaughter. Then, as Alba begins to grow, Esteban Garcia becomes a part of Alba’s life, first with their meeting in Trueba’s study and then when he kisses Alba in the garden. Finally the reader sees Alba in a traditional love relationship with Miguel, the passion felt between these two characters emulates from the pages and it is evident that all other love cannot compare to what these two characters are feeling.

These different relationships that Alba deals with are never fully explored in the novel. Trueba’s love for his granddaughter is not odd and in some reader’s mind may not require an explanation yet it is true that Alba’s side of the story is illustrated in the final chapter when it is revealed that she and Trueba have written the novel. Trueba on the other hand never really explains where his feelings are coming from. The bizarre relationship between Esteban Garcia and Alba, which progresses throughout Alba’s life is never fully explored in the novel and Alba’s feeling are certainly never revealed nor are they explained to the reader, but nor is Esteban given the chance to define what he feels and explain what he does. The love that Alba and Miguel share is passionate and seems to engulf both of them as if when they are together the entire world disappears, yet Alba never seems to express her satisfaction with their relationship in the typical girly way. All of these relationships center around Alba yet her side of the story is hardly ever explain with detail. Diary entries serve as a way of exemplifying Alba’s feelings for Miguel as passionate love, Esteban Trueba’s feelings as a non-physical connection between two people, and Esteban Garcia’s feelings as a twisted individual lost in a place between love and hate. They also explain the differences that Allende has included throughout the novel, especially when love is concerned.

An excerpt from Alba’s diary:

I love Miguel…he means so much to me, more than anything else ever has, I don’t know what I would do without him. I have never felt this way before, it’s as if my body misses him more than my mind does. Some days it scares me how much he means to me…it scares me that we can be so close. As if our souls are intertwining along with our bodies.

We never leave the room in the basement anymore, it has become our sanctuary and it will always be that way. Our relationship, the love that I feel for him, it has moved passed just passion. It is at the point where he is always inside me, in my head, in everything that I do. My only motivation is life is to do things for him, with him, to get me closer to him.

I understand that he has to do what he needs to for the revolution and I know that it is important for him to do anything that he can…but I don’t want to lose him. Why can’t the world just stop and let the two of us lay together in the basement holding one another. Both of us have fought and dealt with loss and tragedy don’t we deserve this happiness.

He would think it.


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