Isabel Allende Long Fiction Analysis
Isabel Allende’s work is at the forefront of the Magical Realism movement. Magical Realism is, in essence, the putting together of realistic events with fantastic details in a narrative that is written as if it were factual. Although it is practiced by authors worldwide, Magical Realism is associated mostly with Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, whose novel Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970) is perhaps the prototypical Magical Realist novel. Magical Realism equates intuitive knowledge with factual knowledge, so that readers’ definitions of reality are challenged and they are able to understand the importance of all types of knowledge. Allende adds another dimension to Magical Realism, because she often uses it to examine women’s issues and problems in Latin American society. Critic Patricia Hart has asked, “Has [Allende] by her politics, her commitment to women’s issues, her liberal, liberated female characters, and even her gender forged a new category that we might call magical feminism?” It seems clear from her works that she is not merely another Magical Realist writer. Her magical elements tend to define a concept of the feminine that equates it with fruition, generation, and the spiritual and allows hope for the future through womankind. Thus the green hair of Clara in The House of the Spirits may be seen as a complicated symbol suggesting intuition, passion, feminine...
(The entire section is 2046 words.)
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