Monday, August 23, 2010

The House of the Spirits vs. One Hundred Years of Solitude

Now that we haved watched most of The House of the Spirits and read One Hundred Years of Solitude, what similarities have you found? The obvious theme in both is the use of magical realism but there are more similarities. There is the fighting between the Liberal and Conservative parties that hugely impact the book and the movie. The liberals in the movie share some of the same concerns that the Buendia family and the entire city of Macondo had in the book. In both the movie and the book there are conflicts within the families regarding marriage. In the movie, both sisters were in love with one man, just as this appears in the book. These are just a few of the similarities I have found. What else can you think of?

5 comments:

Samantha said...

Beneath the use of magical realism and the political battle between the Liberals and Conservatives, more specific similarities can be found between the two works. I noticed that several of the characters from The House of the Spirits correspond to characters from One Hundred Years of Solitude. Clara, an angelic woman who possesses the ability to contact spirits, can be compared to Marquez’s character, Remedios the Beauty, who ascends to heaven. In The House of the Spirits, Blanca has a forbidden love affair with a man who is not accepted, just as does Marquez’s character Renata Remedios. Furthermore, each woman gives birth to a bastard child as a result of the affair. These are just a few of the countless connections that can be found.

Julia Dean said...

I thought there were many similarities between Amarenta in 100 Years of Solitude and Clara's sister in law in The House of Spirits. Both are women who spend their lives taking care of others but never marry.
I also think the machismo figure that Esteban represents appears in 100 Years of Solitude in multiple characters, such as Colonol Aureliano Buendia and Jose Arcadio. Esteban's controlling and aggressive demeanor have tragic consequences on the family, just as Colonol Aureliano Buendia and Jose Arcadio Buendia's actions affect the entire household.
Also, the dynamic between Esteban and his sister reminded me of the bitter family conflicts in 100 Years of Solitude, such as the feud between Rebecca and Amarenta over Pietro Crespi.

C-Sted said...

Certainly, there are numerous similarities between the characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude and In the House of the Spirits. However, I think that the stylistic and thematic similarities between the two stories are also remarkable. Of course, there is the element of magical realism manifested in the ability of certain characters to perceive the future. Furthermore, both narratives trace the lineage, births and deaths of an aristocratic family. As for themes, we can clearly see how the two works address human rights, government and family conflict, and even class and gender roles. I found the similarity between the worker's strike in the movie and the protests against the United Fruit Company in the book particularly interesting.

Steven said...

I find one of the most strikingly bizarre similarities between the movie The House of the Spirits and the novel One Hundred Years of Soltiude was the casuality each work uses to pass of the issues of incest and rape. In my opinion, this is a subset of magical realism because strange events appear to be normal to the characters--I would consider incest and rape rather unusual--while normal events appear to be absurd. For example, Blanca never once mentioned the incidence when Esteban's illegitimate son tries to rape her; she even casts off this incidence as in some-way unimportant, even though in the moment it clearly bothered her. And of course each piece deals with family tension resulting from step-sisters and sisters-in-law and their involvements with males. This is evident in One Hundred Years of Solitude between Rebeca and Amaranta over Pietro Crespi.

Anonymous said...

Both books are extremely similar, not only because of the story, but also because of the writing style. Isabel Allende received a lot of negative comments about her novel "The House of the Spirits" when it came out, because of its similarities to Márquez's novel.