The Evil Sides of Esteban Trueba – A commentary on Allendes The House of Spirits pages 65-67
n this particular passage from pages 65-67 of Isabela Allendes book The House of Spirits, Allende presents Esteban Truebas dark sides of his character.She does this by showing the reader what Trueba did but she also presents her views on the society that he lives in, Chile, the early 1900’s.In this passage, the author tries to reveal how Esteban Trueba is evil in his actions towards other people.
Allende speaks about Trueba as a representative of the whole wealthy male society in that time.
She tries to emphasize how the thoughts of the people in that time evolved around politics, family matters and society. In the first part of the passage Allende talks about how the protagonist (Trueba) took care of his family. He did actually support his family financially but, the author emphasizes that he didn’t bother too see them and using a flashback she mentions his explanation on why he couldn’t visit his dying mother, “He was so busy in the fields, (… ) that he had no time to waste at the bedside of an invalid”(65).
Saying that about his own mother doesn’t really make the reader feel sympathy for Trueba. Allende shows Trueba’s dark sides by writing about his rapes and that he didn’t confess to anyone about that the many children are his, his children. Allende comments on this by using a very negative tone, “It was better to think that they were not”(66). This wasn’t all that the author mentioned about Trueba’s sins concerning his rapes, she further mentions how Trueba threw the poor women out, ”he would send her flying with his wip”(66).
The author shows that Trueba only respected the people in his own class, by using a euphemism, she mentions Truebas opinion that if everyone would be born with the same rights then, “everybody would go to hell and civilization would be thrown back to the Stone Age”(66). Allende shows Truebas quest to marry a women of high status, “when he was ready to have children he would find a women of his own class”(66). This actually shows that Trueba would do everything to achieve his goal, to become rich, wealthy and highly ranked in the society, he would even marry a woman just because of her high status in the society and big wealth.
Both these quotes show also how Allende presents Trueba full of disgust towards poorer people although he had belonged to the lower part of society for a big part of his life. Allende tries to show the reader how evil and selfish Trueba is by mentioning his comments on Niveas fight for woman rights, “That woman is sick in the head”. To further get Trueba viewed as a evil man, Allende shows Trueba’s bad sides of his character by presenting his sarcastic views on women’s rights, “If women don’t know that two and two are four, how are they going to be able to handle a scalpel? (67).
This quote shows that Trueba doesn’t joke when he puts the woman down, he just is a man with no respect or imagination to the woman suffering during that time. The author uses a hyperbole when she mentions Truebas exaggeration on women’s pleads, “At the rate they’re going, the next thing you know they’ll be asking to be deputies, judges-even President of the Republic! “(67). She clearly shows how Trueba is pessimistic to any changes in society and intolerant towards woman.
By making comments like, “It would go against the nature”(67), Allende shows Trueba’s hubris which will lead him to a misery later on in the book. She also shows how one-way minded Trueba is by saying that and the reader can clearly see that Allende tries to present Trueba as intolerant as possible. She clearly marks the point that Trueba isn’t a happy man, he is rotten from inside and that people with the kind of view on society similar to Trueba’s are bad. Allende shows that Trueba isn’t a happy man, he does everything to achieve his economical goal, but that he never finds peace in his soul.
In this passage, Allende really shows us Trueba’s neagaitve views on the society. While the author shows all these dark sides of Trueba’s character, she also makes one thing relevant, Trueba’s harsh involvement in politics later in his life. She foreshadows this by using the quote, “What these cases really need is a strong hand”(67). One might wonder how a one-way-minded man like Esteban Trueba is going join the ruling part of society and still be able to stay in power? That does for sure not work in a “democratic country”.
It’s up to Trueba to be able to controll his evil sides and bad habits and still live a successful life, both politically and privately. In this passage Allende presented Trueba as not only an evil man but also as an intolerant, ignorant and selfish character. She did this by talking a lot about his bad relations with his family, his many rapes and also his narrow-minded views on the society involving woman rights. The author also expresses Trueba not only in his character but as an representative of the whole upper-class male society of that times.