Daughter Of Fortune by Isabel Allende Essay

1781 Words 8 Pages
The story begins with another subtle biblical allusion, this time to the prophet Moses, as the narrator relates the story of how Eliza, as a baby, was abandoned. The memories of that day are mixed. Eliza believes that she was lying in a soapbox, for she remembers the scent; but Rose says that she found the baby Eliza in a wicker basket, reminiscent of Moses's adoption. Although the details of her life are not significantly tied to the story of Moses, Eliza is, in her own way, a leader, demonstrating through her adventures that there is a path that women can follow which will lead to freedom.
Eliza's own
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The result is that Rose's rebellion, which she found gratifying, is suddenly overlaid with a film of guilt. As a mother, she feels more responsible socially and therefore constrains (or attempts to constrain) Eliza's natural impulses. Upon Eliza's reaching puberty, for instance, Rose warns her that men will now be able to do with her whatever they want, suggesting that Eliza should be wary of her own sexual stirrings. Rose looks upon Eliza's menstruation as a curse, and discussions about emotions are forbidden. Just as Eliza's body is confined in rigid undergarments reinforced from time to time with unyielding metal rods, so are her heart and soul contained. The material restrictions on her body are symbolic of the encumbrances of fear and guilt placed on her emotions and on her spirit.
Fortunately for Eliza, she has Mama Fresia, who has her own limitations but who at least provides Eliza with another interpretation of reality. Mama Fresia is an earthy woman who encourages Eliza to play in the dirt, to learn the language of plants and animals, and to understand the power of her dreams. In other words, she is almost the exact opposite of Rose. She is, however, a little too concerned with superstitions and has a fear of poverty and rejection. Although she tells Eliza to trust the messages that she receives in her
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