How does magic empower women in House of the Spirits?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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As a representative of the subgenre of magical realism, The House of the Spirits empowers women by making the main character, Clara, able to control the supernatural. By controlling the supernatural, she has equal power to control the natural world in her own special way. Notice how Clara draws people toward her, people who had their hopes and worries bestowed upon her prophecies. These are not just ordinary villagers; they are also politicians, rich men, and powerful members of society.  This is a very powerful scene in a South American play based on how things operated last century, where the salt of the culture was still connected to a male-dominated society.

The result of endowing a woman such as Clara with the supernatural powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis and fortune-telling was to make her a never-before-seen model and an example to other women who also wanted to free themselves from societal expectations and move toward their own North. 

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