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Isabel Allende Writing Styles in Eva Luna

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Eva Luna.
This section contains 896 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

Point of View

Eva Luna is written from two different points of view. The portions of the novel that involve Eva Luna directly are written in the first person from Eva's point of view. This is extremely helpful to the reader as the novel is basically about Eva and the events that shape her life. The writing is very descriptive with large portions of exposition so that the reader can get a better sense of the world which Eva lives in. As the novel spans approximately 30 years, the writing helps the reader to understand how Eva as a child viewed and perceived things, and how her views and perceptions altered as she matured. Eva Luna is an extremely intelligent person with a rich imagination. The main character in the novel, Eva shares stories that she creates with those she cares about, and sometimes offers them as payment for the kindness of others. The novel is written from Eva's point of view, and the style of this writing is carried through even when Eva is not the central focus of a portion.

Some parts of the novel are written in the third person, when the events taking place do not involve Eva. This occurs during portions of the novel that center on Rolf Carle or Huberto and during sections where the reader is given back story to get a better feeling or a character, such as Riad Halabi. This is also very helpful to the reader, as one is better able to understand the actions and reactions of each character, as well as their motivations.

Setting

The novel Eva Luna takes place in South America, though the specific country is never named. It is clear from the descriptions of the many places that Eva visits during the novel that the climate is tropical. At different times in the novel Eva lives in the capital of the unknown country. Eva also spends many years living in Agua Santa, a small village in the mountains surrounded by jungle. Various other locations are visited and though the writer provides graphic and detailed descriptions, they are never named. The reader is able to get a true sense of the places that Eva lived because the writer uses graphic, descriptive text throughout.

Rolf Carle's early life in Austria is described, as well as the small town he grew up in. On the outskirts of the town, the townspeople are forced to dig mass graves for the victims of a concentration camp as World War II ends. After that experience, followed quickly by the murder of his father, Rolf moves to the same South American country where Eva was born, but to a small town called La Colonia. Here, the original settlers have reconstructed the home of their ancestors back in Austria.

Language and Meaning

The language of the novel is a bit formal, but not overly so, allowing the reader to easily follow the plot and enjoy the novel There is some dialogue, but the majority of the novel is large descriptive passages, describing the picturesque views of Eva Luna as she grows and matures. Eva has a very active imagination and eventually becomes a writer after enduring many trials throughout her life. The novel, written from Eva's point of view for the most part, allows the reader to see not only what Eva sees, but how she feels about it and why. Reading Eva Luna is almost a tactile experience, written in such a way that one cannot help but feel immersed in the surroundings of the characters.

The characters are all well spoken, though there is a definite class difference expressed between the servants and the employers. This is sometimes not expressed so much in speech, but in the way different characters interpret the actions of others. The beliefs of the characters also separate the classes. An example of this is when Eva's madrina uses a rope with seven knots to measure Eva's head to ensure that she is still a virgin. The lower classes tend to meld their beliefs together, creating a melting pot of religion rather than following a strict doctrine. The author expresses the difference in the classes very well, allowing one to easily understand how and why people behave the way they do.

Structure

The novel Eva Luna is divided into eleven chapters of varying length, and also includes a titled epilogue. The chapters vary in length from ten pages to almost thirty. At the outset each chapter involves one character and the events in their life, allowing the reader to gather more knowledge and a deeper understanding for each. As the novel progresses the chapters begin to weave the characters together so the reader can see how they begin to interact and the paths that lead them to each other.

The epilogue, titled "A Final Word," provides some closure for the reader, giving one the impression that Eva and Rolf are finally happy, finding their true mates in each other.

The plot of the novel is fairly straight forward, detailing the life of Eva Luna over a period of approximately thirty years. The author describes the people and places with great detail, allowing the reader to feel as if they are part of the novel. Eva Luna is a very enjoyable novel which transports the reader into the lives of the richly developed characters.

This section contains 896 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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