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“Tonight I Can Write” by Pablo Neruda and “The House Of The Spirits” by Isabel Allende Essay Sample

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“Tonight I Can Write” by Pablo Neruda and “The House Of The Spirits” by Isabel Allende Essay Sample

Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. The reason that there is so much suffering in the world is because people still love and care for each other. The love which is shared by the people bonds them and hence makes their hearts wrung and suffer. This essay explores the emotion that is love and its connotations in situations where a lover suffers due to the immeasurable love which he feels for his beloved.

The House of the Spirits is an epic novel of love, magic, and family pride.

Initially, the novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers, but became an instant best seller when published in Barcelona in 1982. The book was first conceived by Isabel Allende when she received news that her grandfather was dying, and she began to write him a letter that ultimately became the starting manuscript of The House of the Spirits.

The story details the life of the Trueba family, spanning four generations, and tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of the Latin American country they live in. The story is told mainly from the perspective of two protagonists (Esteban and Clara) and incorporates elements of magic realism. According to some readers, The Poet in the novel is probably Pablo Neruda and Allende’s cousin, once removed Salvador Allende is both The Candidate and The President.

Twenty love poems and a song of despair is a collection of Neruda’s most popular works. The poems are based upon his own private associations. These poems were originally written in Spanish and are masterly translated by W.S. Merwin in the English version. ‘Tonight I can write’ is a poem which expresses love of an estranged inamorato in a very sad way as he recalls his beloved and the love they shared.

Neruda and Allende both have many similarities in their works. They both have written about lost or forgotten love. The reason for such a similarity in their writing could be as they both are Chileans and coincidently are even from the same time period. In fact in many of Allende’s work, Pablo has helped him by sharing with him some of his own phrases and poems. Their ways of writing are still different as Neruda in his poems does not uses any other character but puts himself in the act and delivers his message, whereas Isabel uses Estaben to show the cruelty in life by separating him from Rosa. Neruda in his poems has a slight hope as he writes ‘I no longer love her, that’s for certain, but maybe I loved her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.’ But Allende shows no hopes and just morns and grieves by remembering the time he spent with his lover as he says ‘I told her she had mocked me, that we had never been completely alone together, that I had only been able to kiss her once.’

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.

The above quote written by C.S. Lewis shows the complications in love. This is how the characters are in the mentioned works linked to each other. They are unable to avoid the suffering as it itself is the part of love. Pablo Neruda in all his poems is trying to describe this feeling of pain which comes even in defying and accepting someone. Even Allende shows it for a short period of time when Estaben keeps Rosa’s body with himself and disconnects himself from the outer world. His suffering goes to such an high extent that he develops a mental trauma and assaults many Truba women, Pancha being the first victim amongst them.

The use of powerful imagery is common to both the works, and is responsible for creating visually stimulating and vivid scenes in the readers’ minds. From giving the feeling of a romantic mood;

‘…The night is starry

and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’1

For imitating a poignant scene.

To describing a sexual imagery with cries of emotional distress,

‘There was Rosa in the folds of the white satin lining of her white coffin, still intact three days after she had died, and a thousand times more beautiful than I remembered her, for in death Rosa had been subtly transformed into the mermaid she had always been in secret.’2

Are prevalent in both their works.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

In the above lines the poet has described love as assailable and warned to keep away from it.

When we love our heart gets contaminated and many vellicate boundaries form around us which bring us nothing but agony and excruciation. This feeling is also shown in the famous drama ‘Julius Caesar’ written by William Shakespeare, in the scene when Antony comes and sees Caesar’s death body and is described by saying that ace the lord of mutiny and revenge comes by his side. It is love again which he felt for Caesar which made an urge in him to retaliate his death.

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