Sample Women and Gender Studies Papers on Feminism and Violence

Feminism and gender-based violence is a major source of worry in society which has
existed for many years (Allende and Isabel, n.p). "The House of the Spirits" features aspects of
feminism and violence, as depicted by the characters. Women have found the narrative to be a
fantastic source of inspiration. It has demonstrated how women in the society can work to
eliminate power imbalances between men and women (Frick and susan, n.p). In the novel, the
writer brilliantly presents feminism to demonstrate the suffering women experience as a result of
power imbalance. Along with the key voices of Clara, Alba, Blanca, Tránsito Soto
and Ferula, fight Chilean culture and reclaim power over male dominance and Nazism power
systems (Allende 60-66). The female roles in "The House of the Spirits" become revolutionary
feminist’s figures and help to elevate the downtrodden women through the destruction of
traditional family roles, the documentation of history, as well as through human sexuality.
“The House of the Spirits’, tackles the concept of history that delivers a variety
of meanings and messages (Allende and Isabel, n.p). The novel's background setting is in the
twentieth century in an undisclosed Latin-American country during a period of immense
upheaval. Family, memories and the history, endurance, culture, literature, women and feminists,
violence, society and class, the supernatural, freedom, captivity and politics are all explored in
the novels (Tesia 1205). The novel explores unrecorded parts of history, the cyclical nature of

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history, and also how historical background gives life to and forfeits the past. I thereforelargely
disagree with the elite military history provided.

Summary of the established view

The novel analyzes historical characteristics that are unauthorized and undocumented in
history (Frick and Susan, n.p). Allende offers a metaphor about ants obtaining a chicken and
devouring it alive. The military is represented by the ants, whereas the people are represented by
the chicken (Tesia, 1204). The military seized control of the people and forced them to submit to
their will. Feminist Writings in Isabel Allende's "The House of the Spirits: Revolution and
Femininity" shows how a text might become a transformational genre of writing in a variety of
ways (Frick and Susan, n.p). Many works of literature become famous as a result of provocative
phrases and assertive challenges to the society, or even as a result of a different path, bringing
revolution into the phrases of the downtrodden and allowing the oppressors to convict
themselves (Allende 481).
In Isabel Allende's "The House of the Spirits", the woman's voice is prominent and
deeply integrated. Allende's characters break established systems and act as a revolutionary force
in the midst of years of relentless male destruction in a male, conservative and
religious society. Clara and Alba have their own past, separate from Esteban Trueba's
overbearing voice with his proclivity to distort reality in his benefit (Allende 68). However, the
fiction of the novel directly represents how imbalance in the society has existed for so many
years and still is existing in the present world. In so many ways, feminism has hindered the
normal way of being for women in the society (Tesia 1206). Women have been denied their
rights and freedom to equal chances as men especially when it comes to leadership. For so many
years, the woman has been seen as a week being and their roles have been placed at home.

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Despite, women been perceived as weaker compared to men, they can by far outdo men since
they can be able to balance between so many roles at the same time (Gough and Elizabeth, 95).
To begin with, the women in novel are surrounded by cultural pressures such as
arranged marriages and household obligations, and while they yield to most of these demands,
they also disrupt them in unexpected ways. The females of Tres Marias' reaction to Clara's
socialist declarations finest exemplifies the traditional ideas regarding family and marriage in the
twentieth-century Chilean culture that surrounds the characters in the story (Allende 118).
Gender-based violence is emphasized more when Esteban Trueba epitomizes the
stereotypical and anticipated husband, father, and male in predominantly agrarian Latin-
American culture. He mercilessly beats his children, his wife, and anyone who gets in his way
(Allende 118). Although Clara is in a submissive position, uses her foresight and speech one of
which she exploits to verbally question her husband's assertions and silences to deprive
her attention and wisdom to tame and maintain authority over the domineering Esteban (Hanmer
et el., 13). Furthermore, as is evident of her verbosity of the feminist values that her
own mother instilled in her, she tries to build an environment wherein women can have their own
freedom, while establishing a world completely of her own (Gough and Elizabeth, 95).
Women have been tasked with the obligation to assert their rights. This is demonstrated
by Nivea, Clara's mother, when she actively campaigns against gender oppression by painting
the town with anti-oppression women's posters during the night, while being well conscious of
the impact her actions may cause. In addition to this, she made a strong case for equality
between women and men (Allende, 66). In such a chauvinist country, Nivea's advocacy for
equality between men and women is such a daring step, signaling that women should openly
speak up for their own rights regardless of the situation. Women however started to perform

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some of the duties which were known to belong to men in the society. They could address and
chair family gathering a thing which could not be expected there before. Women also started to
show their political opinions thus rise beyond their oppression (Hanmer et al.,12).
Despite the fact that we are living in a male dominated society, women can have power
and control over history (Hanmer et el., 13). This is revealed in the book, where Clara, and
Alba two, are the record keepers of the novel. They have mastery over history and the uncanny
capacity to capture Esteban Trueba, the tyrannical patriarchal power, in his own deception
(Allende 66). His utterances are intended to be questioned, but they just serve to emphasize his
shaky credibility and unforgivable macho violence (Allende 58). As an obstinate patriarch,
he insists on his righteousness despite abundant proof to the contrary, like Clara's journals, which
Alba utilizes to build a more comprehensive account (Allende 58). Esteban's stories are so
discordant with Alba and Clara's statements that they come off as ugly and clownish attempts to
cover up and vindicate his acts.
There are several unpleasant events can be traced back to violence done by Esteban as a
result of his claim of patriarchal dominance, both indirectly and directly. Esteban commits to
arranging the coup that leads to his daughter's abduction, and through his sexual assault of
Pancha, he also spawns his daughter's rapist (Allende 460). His brutality just breeds more
violence towards women, and so when he defends himself, it contradicts the storyline, shattering
the male narrator's credibility. Though Alba is fond of her grandfather and lets him talk, the
feminine voices are significantly more dominant and significant. Clara also wields considerable
power over the narration, emphasizing cyclical feminine stories by what she inserts in her
journals that "bear witness to life (Hanmer et el., 13)."

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The feminine style of writing enabled women to recover from trauma as well as
educating coming generations on how to deal with it, and also establishing an environment for
women to regain their authority. They interrupt the cycle of violence through writing and reclaim
the story from the patriarchal society. "Clara wrote (the diaries) so they would enable me now to
recover the past and conquer fears of my own," Alba says (Allende 481). Clara's influence
additionally aids Alba's survival of Esteban Garcia's suffering by penetrating her granddaughter's
consciousness at the end of her life and saying, "You have a lot to do, so stop feeling sorry for
yourself, take some water, and start writing" (Allende 460). Each one of the three women,
Clara, Alba, and Blanca, carries a physical torch of wisdom, as their names suggest. Women are
frequently left out of history, and are much less frequently the writers of our records. Allende's
decision to have women describe their familial and political histories from the nineteenth to the
twentieth centuries is a revolutionary move (Smith 90).
Moreover, the novel's artistic combination of feminine sexuality produces a tremendous
power dynamic between male and feminine energies (Tesia 1204). The characters are granted
power and agency through sex in its different forms their sexuality having the ability to recover,
whereas the male in the story employ sexual violence to accomplish their goals. Tránsito Soto is
one of the most visible illustration of strong feminine sexuality (Allende 120). Tránsito is an
unconventional strength, from her dominance over Esteban Trueba to the community of sex
workers which she organizes and maintains. The narration does not slut her; rather, her work is a
declaration of her autonomy. She is the only person who can liberate Alba from her captivity due
to her power and privilege over Esteban Trueba and the other men in the narrative.
Female-initiated sexuality, on the other hand, restores, unveils secrets, and strengthens
female dominance. Ferula's affection to Clara never crosses her own limits, and in the story, she

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merely serves as a compassionate force, providing Clara with the security and love she lacks
from Esteban. Clara's rejection to be intimate after Esteban has beaten her is a nonviolent act of
destruction (Allende 118). Esteban becomes helpless when he cannot force his intercourse,
anymore and Clara disempowers him, leading him to weaken, age swiftly, and lose his reputation
and potency in both his professional and personal life.
Additionally, there are many other writers who have been able to address the issue of
feminism and violence (Meyer and Doris, 177). For instance, in the journal written by Frick,
Susan R. "Memory and Retelling: The Role of Women in La casa de los Espiritu’s” explores
women's positions in society through four generations, giving a good resource for comparing
how women's roles in the society have changed over time. Nivea, Blanca, Clara, and Alba are the
subjects of Frick's book, which follows their quests toward political and social equality (Frick 2).
The author tries to reflect on Isabel Allende's art on the strengths of the women and how they can
be able to change the society through standing up for what is right and without fear (Meyer and
Doris, 177).
Gough, Elizabeth, also emphasizes on the theme of pain and suffering in reflection to
Isabel Allende’s work. Clara, for instance, viewing the autopsy of her adored sister Rosa is a
good example of voyeuristic behavior (Gough 95). This shows how the women have experienced
a lot of pain and suffering in the society without anyone giving them attention. If at all the
society cared for the rights of the women then such sufferings would not be happening. The
narrative shows the degree at which the rights of the women need to be addressed to end their
suffering. It also explains the reason behind the characters actions for fighting for their rights to
end such pain and suffering (Meyer and Doris, 177).

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The most devastating issue that the women have been facing in the society is dictatorship.
Munoz, Betilde V. in his journal “Where Are The Women? addresses how the male dominated
society has led to dictatorship not only in the outside but also in the families as well (Meyer and
Doris, 177). For decades, women have ever been given their rights to make their own decisions
and this has been a devastating issue. Munoz in his writings sates that Women never relinquished
their aspiration to become self-sufficient, to break free from their allotted "roles" as invisible
appendages, wives, mothers, and domestic laborers (Munoz 6). However, the enthusiasm of the
character in “The House of the Spirits” shows how tired the women are and their need to stand
up for their choices without being limited by anyone. In addition, Palaversich, Diana. "Skeletons
in the Closet” addresses the same issue of feminism and dictatorship. Palaversich, on the other
contrary, concentrates on liberal sexual politics, saying, "While political 'transgressors' go
unpunished and possibly forgiven, sexual transgressors have a completely different outcome
(Palaversich, 1)." Furthermore, discrimination based on a woman's sexuality is one of the
obstacles she faces, contributing to the growth of feminist movements in most nations throughout
the world in support of women's liberation (Palaversich 6).
Female creativity is another aspect emphasized in the articles that determine a lot the
personality and confidence of an individual (Moore and Pamela, 95). Meyer, Doris. "'Parenting
the Text” and Moore, Pamela L. “Testing The Terms”, portray the role of the women in the society
and their ability to be creative. In her text, Doris uses an example of two characters from the novel
“The House of the Spirits” named Esteban and Alba who explore or in other words demonstrate
their creativeness in their public and domestic roles (Doris 171-182).
In conclusion, the novel vividly underlines the significance of women in the fight against
gender stereotypes through female characters. It is women's responsibility to oppose oppression as a

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group, to continue campaigning for equal rights, and also to protect the vulnerable among them. If
they don't, they'll be no different than their oppressors.

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Works cited

Allende, Isabel. "The House of the Spirits." Translated by Magda Bogin. London: Black Swan
Frick, Susan R. "Memory and Retelling: The Role of Women in La casa de los espiritus."
Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 7.1 (June 2001): 27-41.
George, Tesia. "Feministic Analysis of the House of the Spirits." Turkish Journal of Computer
and Mathematics Education (TURCOMAT) 12.2 (2021): 1204-1207.

Gough, Elizabeth. "Vision and Division: Voyeurism in the Works of Isabel Allende." Journal of
Modern Literature 27.4 (2004): 93-120.

Hanmer, Lucia, and Haroon Akram-Lodhi. "In'The house of the spirits': towards a post-
Keynesian theory of the household?." ISS Working Paper Series/General Series 225
(1996): 1-24.

Meyer, Doris. "'Parenting the Text': Female Creativity and Dialogic Relationships in Isabel
Allende's La casa de espiritus." Hispania 73.2 (May 1990): 360-365. Rpt. In Isabel
Allende. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. 171-182. /
Milanesio, Natalia. "" The Guardian Angels of the Domestic Economy": Housewives'
Responsible Consumption in Peronist Argentina." Journal of Women's History 18.3
(2006): 91-117.

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Moore, Pamela L. “Testing The Terms: ‘Woman’ In ‘The House of the Spirits’ And ‘One Hundred
Years Of Solitude.’ ” The Comparatist, vol. 18, University of North Carolina Press, 1994, pp.
Munoz, Betilde V. “Where Are The Women? The Case of Chilean Women: 1973-1989.”
International Social Science Review, vol. 74, no. 1/2, Pi Gamma Mu, International Honor
Society in Social Sciences, 1999, pp. 3–19,
Palaversich, Diana. "Skeletons in the Closet: Reading Sexuality in Allende’s La casa de los
espíritus." Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Lawrence J. Trudeau,