An Analysis of the Novel Eva Luna by Isabel Allendes

Categories: Eva Luna Isabel Allende

Isabel Allendes novel, Eva Luna is the story of a woman who is strong. The protagonist Eva takes strength from herself, the legacy of her mother and various characters she meets to triumph over circumstances that befall her. She does not lie down and accept the storyline laid down for her. but makes her own stories: even her ending is uncertain and unexpected, implying that she retains the freedom to change it at Will, Eva is certainly an inspiration for strength and change, and through her experiences she has evolved into a woman, leading many to believe the novel should be classified as feminist.

This is not necessarily the case. Eva Luna is an indivtdualist novel, documenting a personal Journey that has a message about strength for all people to see, not Just women. Some definitions of feminism seek to extend to include both sexes, but intrinsically, the word feminist narrows the vtewpomt of the message given. To call any novel about strong women feminist is to simplify the feminist struggle, generalizing it to a trivial state.

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In Allendes novel, Eva Luna does suffer from discrimination, and she does move to liberate herself. but does not do so with a conviction to move towards equality of the sexes, the central idea of feminism. in What is Feminism, Delmar states Feminism is increasingly understood by feminists as a way of thinking created by. for, and on behalf of women, as genderrspecific. Women are its subjects, its enunciators, the creators of its theory, of its practice and of its language.

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Delmar calls a feminist one who believes women are discriminated against because they are women , With the struggle for womens equality being their central concern and therefore questions whether all actions and campaigns prompted or led by women are feminist. Disagreement on definitions of feminism is common, but aworking definition of feminism, given by the soc.feminism information group, is as follows. The belief that women and men are, and have been, treated differently by our society, and that women have frequently and systematically been unable to participate fully in all social arenas and institutions. Adesire to change that situation. That this gives a “new“ pomt-of-vtew on society, when eliminating old assumptions about why things are the way they are, and looking at it from the perspective that women are not inferior and men are not “the norm.”

At no point does Eva imply to the reader that she believes all women are persecuted and must be liberated. and she does not work for this cause. She fights for herself and those she loves. and lives her life as an individual, at times adopting the causes of those she loves. Many of the other characters in the book do this as well, and no characters focus is on recognizing and changing the rights of women as opposed to men: rather, the characters are at battle to save their country as a whole, as with Huberto Naranio and the guerilla movement, or at battle to overcome their own traumas and find themselves, as wrth Melesio/Mimi and Rolf Carle. in his reVIewA Feminist by Any Other Name? Jonquil Wolfson stresses that freedom knows no gender, and that often works taken by feminists to be feminist works are really about freedom in general. All convtctions that people can nse above their circumstances in Eva Luna can apply to both men and women. Each character, whether male or female, has his own story. fighting to discover his ideals and realize them. The story of Rolf Carle is one of fortitude and rising above circumstances. Without a specifically feminist sentiment, before or after Rolf meets Eva. Rolf comes from an abusive background, yet recovers, deals with his feelings as he matures, and establishes a sense of purpose for himself through the art of filming. lost as Eva has through the art of storytelling. which is one of the reasons the two mesh together so well when they meet. Rolf is just as good an example of a person who learns from miseiy and takes control of his life as Eva. The character Melesio/Mimi transforms in the course of the novel from a man into awoman, not to prove the superiority of women, but because he feels that as an mdivtdual he is female. He concentrates on making the most out of his newly found womanhood, Without making statements about all women. He has more superficial power as a woman wtthout asking for equality.

All the characters Eva interacts with in the novel educate her and help her to evolve. but the lessons she learns from them are not gender-specific, and her behaVior and interactions are much better classified as indiVIdualist rather than feminist. Eva is a strong woman, but does not feel she is above the mechanisms of life and love in her patriarchal society. She is not feminist in her actions, One of the men she meets and loves is Riad Halabi, an Arab who owns a store in a small town. She lives with him as she blossoms into womanhood, and he acts as her father figure at first. and then her lover. provtding for her and teaching her. Riad actually wants Eva to gain her independence helping her to read and write, and finally attempting to send her to the capital to teach her not to depend on anyone, even him. But Eva does not heed this because her love and newly discovered sexuality bind her to him. She is ready to marry him and stay With him forever, and he must force her to leave him against her Will. Later she finds better matches for her love, but she always searches for the experience she had with this father figure. She becomes dependent on him first when he provides for her, and later when he introduces her to carnal pleasures. Riad has some feminist ideals he holds up to Eva, but her reactions do not follow feminist polemic: radical feminists would even call it a strike against womens liberation, Evas childhood friend and lover Huberto Naranjo is another example of Evas tendency to search for a male figure. and of how her relations to male figures do not classify her as feminist. After they meet as children she puts his face in her fantasies, and she gives herself up to him again and again when they meet later on in life, until she realizes his fast-paced idealism will ultimately not nurture her happiness, and she detaches herself from him when she has met another man to love, Rolf Carle. She does not leave Huberto seeking equality for women, because she feels he has too much power, she acknowledges that her love With Huberto is not meant to be because they are diverging, on different paths, and neither of them can spend a lifetime waiting for the other: that neither ones passions can stifle the passions of the other. She joins with Rolf Carle because they can compliment each other in their passions. not because she feels she will have greater power in that relationship. Eva Luna is not necessarily meant to be a feminist novel and does not have to be seen as such because the novel really focuses on Evas ability to tell stories, her connections With others, and her triumphs over adversity, as well as the stories of all the characters she meets. The general statements read from her actions and the actions of those around her, although she is awoman, are never specific to the one gender. Eva liberates herself, but does not live under the ideals of womens liberation; she does not speak of feminist beliefs or prompt feminist action. The novel might understandably be labeled feminist simply because she evolves as awoman, but this alone does not constitute a feminist work. The fights and triumphs in the book are for the individual, not the feminist.

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An Analysis of the Novel Eva Luna by Isabel Allendes. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from

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