The Strength of Women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and the House of the Spirits

Essay by passionsfan8High School, 12th gradeA, June 2010

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The strength of women in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende both give women strong leadership roles in their novels, as in One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits women play a significant role in family affairs. Men often start off strong, but often lose sight of what's important or no longer use their skills to be the successful leader they are able to be. When this happens, it is the women who step in to keep the family strong and the day to day activities going. Without these women, the families in both One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits would perhaps fall to pieces.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the matriarch of the Buendia family is Ursula Iguaran. Right from chapter one, readers are able to see her sense of level headedness.

When Jose Arcadio Buendia first got caught up in the idea of science and alchemy, as shown to him by Melquiades, and wanted to trade their farm animals for magnetized ingots, her sense of reality tired to convince him not to do so. It says, "[Jose Arcadio Buendia] traded his mule and a pair of goats for the two magnetized ingots. Ursula Iguaran, his wife, who relied on those animals for their poor domestic holdings, was unable to dissuade him" (Marquez 2). This may seem like an insignificant moment, but it's not. It is this moment that foreshadows the fact that that Ursula is going to be the sensible one in the family, the one whose practicality will keep the family going, even when Jose Arcadio Buendia's curiosity might get the best of him. This would turn out to be okay, though, because "Ursula's capacity for...