Literary Analysis

Due August 4, 2000

Composition 3027

Lance Peterson




The essay is an attempt by Isabel Allende to reach out to people with a fictional story; behind the masked metaphor is a situation of dire consequences. She is attempting to convey conditions of her homeland. It is her restricted culturally molded way to reach us. She uses her professional writing skills to convey a subliminal message, a cry for help, a call to action, her defiance is directed toward the political system of her homeland. She recognizes the existence of good and evil in this world. When the powers of nations are involved the abuse or evil goes beyond simply annoying of someone. Since we are all familiar with the evils of Hitler and his abuses of power used on Germanys Jewish citizens. I will call; Hitlerís story and Peraltaís story satanic stories. Isabel Allende doesnít call the Amadeo Peralta story a satanic story, I do. Isabel Allende wrote a fictional essay with hard truths, a sad story, and with a seemingly just ending. The hard truths and sad story is the satanic story of today lived out in South American countries today.

The very fact Isabel Allende is from a South American country, in particular Chile and she left following a coup causing her uncle the socialist president Salvador Allende to be deposed indicates special knowledge of government issues. Isabel Allende is a good family member keeping her mouth shut, lest she might be assassinated, yet she is drawn to fiction to express her tormented soul, to convey the metaphorically hidden satanic story. The essay says Peralta is raised in a gang atmosphere to be a leader, a practice all to familiar in the land of South America gangs. Allende knows this and conveys it to us in the best manner she can. Amadeo Peralta is the head of state, "rich and feared cast the net of his power across the regionÖthe era of undisguised plunder had been replaced by one of corruption and briberyÖpeople whispered about his victimsÖmany had been ruined or cause to disappear." The satanic story so well played out by Hitler during his rein. This is the situation played out by most all the heads of state in the continent of South America.

During Peraltaís rise to power he meets Hortensia. She is seduced into submission. She becomes a victim to the powers of Peralta. She is confused, mixed up; "Öshe suddenly appeared at his house, one hundred and forty kilometers awayÖ[she] clung to his shirt with the terrifying submission of a slave." Hortensia ends up in a cave for almost 50 years. Peralta is Hitler in the satanic story, the Jews of nazi Germany are represented by Hortensia and the treatment she endured, a situation of abuse, by a powerful Government, all to common in South America. The satanic story within "If You Touched My Heart" likens to the Jews who were tricked onto the rail cars bound for the gas chambers, so is Hortensia tricked. However Hortensia is not killed but condemned to a tragic life in a cave, just as Doctor Mingla, in the satanic story condemned many to the slow death of the work details inside Auschwitz. Peralta promises "You wait for me hereÖI will bring you gifts and dresses and jewels fit for a queen." Peralta then almost forgets her. Hortensia is cold lonely unkempt dirty withering away in a cave for forty-seven years. More of the satanic story where corrupt politician lie to the public to seduce their confidence, win them over, only to forget the promises and continue to deny basic human rights their people are entitled. Isabel Allende says "[Peralta] was a man of authority, a patriarchÖno one dared look him in the eyeÖ[Peralta] had become the owner of all the land from the ruins of Spanish fort to the state lineÖ[Peralta] launched himself on a political career that made him the most powerful cacique in the terrority." A rise and lifestyle similar to the privileged Mr. Hitlerís reign as chancellor of Germany, the satanic story.

Peralta hires a tight-mouthed Indian woman to watch over Hortensia. The Indian woman represents something as sinister as a secret service within a nation, or the complicity of the people of the town. Mr. Hitler had his secret guard, his complacent citizens, and Peralta has his, as do so many governments in South America today. I learned of human right abuses in South America from a Nobel Peace price-winning speaker that lectured at the University of Minnesota in 1999. It was there that I learned of the Weeping Mothers of lost children. The members have all had children abducted and missing for no reason. In the true satanic story Hortensiaís mother would have been a weeping mother. South America is not in touch with democracy but lives under puppet governments yielding suppressive powers and subject to monetary persuasions. The peasant rebels of South America have taken the name

Allende has three boys playing hooky from school and exploring. The boys are beckoned by the sounds of the psaltery; they discover what they think is the door to hell. Allende, in her blind metaphorical wisdom, invoked the power of the next generation, the young boys, to find Hortensia, leading to her ultimate freedom. Then comes the sway of public opinion, the media and neighbors rebel against Peralta. He is imprisoned, the decency of the citizens is outraged and common humanity justice prevails. In the true modern day satanic story things are not changing in South America, there is no happy ending, just the same continuing rein that was Hitlerís in nazi Germany during the late 1930ís. Allende shows us wishful thinking for the destiny of South America. She communicates the hope for the peasant class in South America by the freeing of Hortensiaís. In the satanic story Peralta imprisonment would be as if Hitler had live to be imprisoned. Hortensia has compulsions to return to the cave, finding it hard to except change, even if it is better for her.

On this August 4, day of the year 2000 people in south American countries are subjected to living under puppet governments run by people like Amadeo Peralta. The South American governments are at war with its own people. Our own United States Government allocated $2billion in aid to officials similar to Amadeo Peralta under the conditions the government fight the drug war. The CIA spends an annual budget of $26billion to control internal policy of South American governments. Isabel Allende has as best as she can, given us insight into corrupt distribution of power and pain, the disregard of human rights. I have analysised "If you Touched My Heart" using the never-ending existence of a satanic story which is alive and well in South America Politics and fueled by our tax dollars, distributed by the United States Government, as if we were giving money to Hitler.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.