House of the Spirits

by Isabel Allende

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How is Esteban Garcia's character like in The House of the Spirits?

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In Allende's  House of the Spirits, Esteban Garcia is the bastard grandson of Esteban Trueba.  He is the product of the rape of his peasant grandmother by her patron.  As such, he longs for recognition from his wealthy and powerful grandfather, but he receives none.  Thus, he grows up harboring deep resentment toward the injustices that were done to his grandmother and to him.  He becomes determined to get revenge on the Truebas, and he does so by becoming a police officer and an important officer after the coup.  He takes Trueba's granddaughter Alba prisoner, and tortures her mercilessly.  He wants to make the Truebas pay for what they have done to him and his family.  Esteban Garcia is vindictive, sadistic, and mentally disturbed.  Yet, we, the readers, understand that he himself has been a victim, and that much of the cruelty he inflicts on others was inflicted on him and his grandmother.  It is this cycle of revenge that Alba is determined to break when she is free.  She vows that she will not seek vengeance on her torturer, but will forgive him, and if the baby that she is carrying is Esteban's, she will raise this child with love, not hatred.

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