The House of the Spirits

Class Conflict in The House of the Spirits and Madame Bovary

German philosopher Friedrich Engels once said “All history has been a history of class struggles between dominated classes at various stages of social development”. In all societies, each social class has unique characteristics and distinctions, especially in lifestyles and privileges within their respective cultures; however, when differences between social classes become too great, problems begin to arise. Despite the different settings of Allende’s The House of the Spirits and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, the distinctions between social classes in each novel produce the same problematic results for the characters; the problematic results demonstrate the negative effect of vast distinctions between social classes.

Allende depicts the differences between the social classes in The House of the Spirits well through the interaction between the people of Tres Marías. Tres Marías contains two major social classes: the landowning class and the peasant class. The landowning class consists of the Trueba family, for Esteban Trueba is the patron of the hacienda, while the peasant class consists of the hacienda’s workers, including the García family. Allende presents the two classes as foils of each other. While Allende portrays the wealth...

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