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The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

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I considerably agree with the quote, that real life seems to have no plots. To be more precise, from my reading of this anthology, The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende, I find that stories do not always represent reality. Stories often exist to present a set of values, and thus the predictable conclusions often distance the stories themselves from reality. Stories in this anthology have fixed conclusions, that heroes would always succeed, and villains would always suffer, which isn’t always the case in real life. We judge characters according to how closely they approximate our own moral code.

We know that if they are close to it, they will win, and if they are far from it, they will be defeated. For example, in “The Gold of Thomas Vargas”, the death of Thomas seems to be very reasonable due to his irresponsible and selfish personalities, and that the final victory of poor, miserable Concha is also under our expectation. On the contrary, in real life situations, the powerful evil ones rather than being defeated by fate, they often end up having more power, whereas the kindhearted ones do not always receive the paybacks they should.

From this respect, we can conclude that stories do not always reflect reality. Stories only function as a guide to life, teaching us the set of values that will be accepted by societies. Stories sometimes sound too bizarre to occur in real life, which in my opinion is a technique that Isabel has employed to encourage the readers to really hate the villain of the story. For example, in the story “If You Touched My Heart”, I had a really difficult time accepting the fact that Hortensia is naive enough to stay in the sugar mill for forty-seven years, believing that Peralta has always loved her.

However, her misery isn’t the central focus of the story, but as a device used to raise the reader’s anger towards Peralta. As a result, we can come to a conclusion that some plots in the stories are simply exaggerated to communicate a set of moral judgments against the villains. There are rarely two very similar characters in one story, but this is not true in real life. This is because characters are not people. Characters are devices that writers use to achieve the objectives of the stories, thus it would be pointless having two characters behaving similarly.

For example, in “A Discreet Miracle”, the three siblings with three completely different sets of characteristics are what contribute to their unique interactions with each other, which are also what hold up the entire story. However, real life conflicts don’t often just revolve around two or three people. Instead, conflicts in real life often involve more complexity with a larger number of people. However, the extra similar characters in stories act no purpose as stories only require two characters with opposite characteristics at two either extremes to identify between heroes and villains.

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