Essay about Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

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Isabel Allende’s novel, Eva Luna, amalgamates many of the techniques and conventions associated with the picaresque tradition, magical realism and bildungsroman in order to present a critique of dominant Eurocentric ideologies of the patriarchy and oligarchy in 20th century Latin America and to valorize the voices and experiences of the marginalized and oppressed. A prominent aspect of Eva Luna which acts as a vehicle for the novels critique of the patriarchal oligarchy are the numerous motifs and symbols utilized throughout the novel. The manner in which Allende introduces and develops symbols and motifs throughout the novel functions to set up a number of oppositions which portray a sense of loss of freedom and expression under the …show more content…
This is contrasted with symbols of oppression and imprisonment, which is most obvious in the description of the “nun with a jailer’s key…hands hidden beneath the folds of her habit”. Birds represent nature; key = culture, man-madeThis description clearly portrays the colonizing religion as oppressive and restricting, and the symbol of the jailer’s key could be read as symbolic of Consuelo’s imprisonment by the oppressing colonizers, and her subsequent loss of individuality and ability to express herself. The oppression is demonstrated to be over both the mind and the body, with the hands hidden under the habit possibly acting as symbols of the oppression of the body. Furthermore, as the hands are commonly regarded as implements of expression, this symbol could therefore be interpreted as illustrating the oppression of expression under the oligarchy. It is significant that Consuelo experiences the most freedom while she is removed from the church – in the jungle and playing with “young Indians with swollen bellies” – suggesting the unrealized liberatory potential of the subjugated and colonized working classesindigenes. By representing the colonizing religion as repressive and suffocating in contrast with the freedom experienced by the colonized and marginalized prior to their colonization, as introduced earlier in the chapter, Allende clearly presents a critique of the

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