What techniques has Allende used to discuss the central ideas in "Eva Luna"?

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Throughout her novel Eva Luna, Allende explores many topics and ideas which have cultural and historical significance for South and Central American women. For example, her portrayal of Eva's relationships with men and her sexual exploitation represents a struggle that many Latin American women go through. It is quite common for women to feel oppressed by men, both sexually and socially, and Allende communicates these frustrations and explores this gender imbalance through Eva's storytelling.

One technique that Allende uses is to bless her character with the ability to tell beautiful stories. As a storyteller, Eva is able to escape her reality and better cope with her difficult existence. Through the use of magical realism, Allende combines supernatural elements and realistic themes to show the powerful, mysterious qualities that women possess, as well as to reflect her own struggle as a female in a male dominated society. In the story, Eva could be compared to a modern-day Scheherazade, the protagonist in 1,001 Arabian Nights who is gifted with the incredible ability to charm men and tell beautiful stories. This talent ultimately saves her life, as it does Eva's. 

Allende also uses the structure and techniques of a "picaresque" novel to tell Eva's story. This type of novel is told in a realistic style with elements of comedy and satire and usually features a hero or heroine of low morals and social class who get by only by using their wits. The upside to using this style to tell Eva's story is that it is both entertaining and popular, yet it is also written in first person with an autobiographical tone. This allows these difficult themes to be introduced to the reader in a sneaky manner. Allende does this in order to create an empathetic reader as opposed to a judgmental one. 

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