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Daughter of Fortune Plot Summary Part 1 Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune begins with the narrator recalling the details of Eliza Sommers's arrival at the home of Rose and Jeremy

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Alt 22.01.10, 22:42
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Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
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Standart Daughter of Fortune

Daughter of Fortune

Plot Summary

Part 1

Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune begins with the narrator recalling the details of Eliza Sommers's arrival at the home of Rose and Jeremy Sommers. Rose and Jeremy took her in on March 15, 1832, the day celebrated as her birthday.
The Sommers live in Valparaíso, Chile. Rose and Jeremy are brother and sister. Rose takes care of household chores (with the help of Mama Fresia, a native woman who runs the kitchen) while Jeremy directs an import/export business. Rose and Jeremy's brother John is a sea captain who often visits them.
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Eliza is something of a plaything for Rose, who likes to dress her in fancy clothes and provide a proper education for her. Mama Fresia, on the other hand, looks after Eliza's physical and psychological welfare. Rose teaches Eliza to play the piano and to enjoy reading. Mama Fresia teaches her to cook and to heal herself with medicinal herbs.

Jacob Todd is introduced early in the first chapter as a "charismatic redhead with the most beautiful preacher's voice." He has come to Chile on a bet, claiming that he can sell three hundred bibles. He is warmly received by the upper echelon of Chilean-British society, including Jeremy and Rose Sommers. It does not take long for Todd to fall in love with Rose, who constantly rebuffs his attentions.
As the story unfolds, Allende inserts a brief history of Chilean culture, including facts about immigration, the influence of the British Empire on society, as well as the controls placed on women, who were expected to remain largely inside the home. Agustín del Valle, a wealthy landowner, is introduced as representing the epitome of wealth, influence, and patriarchy.
Eliza enters puberty with the onset of her menstruation cycle, which Miss Rose tells her not to discuss with anyone. Jeremy, noting that Eliza is maturing, comments that "intelligence is a drawback in a woman," proffering his sentiments about the female sex in general. Rose wants to send Eliza to school, but Jeremy is against it. Rose, in retaliation, refuses to do anything in the home and locks herself away in her bedroom. Jeremy eventually submits.
Feliciano Rodríguez de Santa Cruz and the daughter of landowner Agustín del Valle, Paulina, are introduced next. Feliciano represents the newly established rich class, made so by the discovery of gold. He falls in love with Paulina, a match that her father is against. In order to prevent the two from getting together, he orders that Paulina must be taken to a faraway convent to be raised by the nuns until she comes to her senses. He also commands that her head be shaved to shame her. Todd steps in when he hears of Paulina's fate. He helps Feliciano find her. Eventually, Agustín relents, and Paulina and Feliciano are married.
Next, Todd befriends Joaquín Andieta, a very poor young man who works at Jeremy's business and preaches socialism on the side. Andieta and Todd often meet and discuss politics. Andieta believes that Todd lives "in the clouds," because he believes in a communal society. Andieta is more practical: his goal is to unionize workers and promote land reforms.
Part one closes with Todd being discovered as a fraud (the British community in Chile took him into their circle because they thought he was a preacher) and with Miss Rose trying to find an appropriate suitor for Eliza. Her attempts fail, as she introduces Eliza to Michael Steward, an English naval officer, who turns the tables on Miss Rose and falls for her. Eliza, taking matters into her own hands, falls in love with Joaquín. In a flashback scene, the story of Miss Rose's ill-fated love affair with Karl Bretzner, a Viennese tenor, who, Rose later discovers, is married and has two children, is revealed.

Part 2

Joaquín decides that he must travel to the United States to make his fortune. He and Eliza have been meeting clandestinely, and she mourns his decision. Feliciano and Paulina are also affected by the gold rush, but through Paulina's clever business mind, they decide to invest in a steam ship, which will provide food for the hungry masses of miners in the States. They enlist John as their captain.
Mama Fresia discovers love letters that Joaquín and Eliza have written to one another, thus exposing the secret that the young couple have been involved sexually. Eliza tells her that she will clear her name by marrying Joaquín, and, toward this goal, she must follow him to California. When Mama Fresia realizes that Eliza is pregnant, she concocts a recipe to try to abort the fetus. She is unsuccessful.
John arrives in Chile and introduces Tao Chi'en, a Chinese man who has been working for him. It is through Tao Chi'en that Eliza will be smuggled aboard another ship and taken to California. At the time, Tao does not know that Eliza is pregnant. He only knows that Eliza is in love and must be reunited with Joaquín. Tao, who is suffering the loss of his wife, fully understands Eliza's emotions. He brings her aboard and stows her in the belly of the ship in a small cargo hold.

Part 3

Eliza regains her strength and begins her search for Joaquín. In her costume as a boy, she takes on the identity of Joaquín's brother. Eliza has left Tao in order to widen her search, but she often writes letters to him. She realizes how much she misses him.
It is through her travels that Eliza begins to find her courage and her independence. She sells prepared meals, writes letters for others, and offers her services in the medicinal arts. In the process, she meets new friends, such as Babalu the Bad and Joe Bonecrusher, who travels throughout the gold-mining counties offering entertainment. It is with Joe Bonecrusher's group that Eliza earns a living playing the piano.
Tom No-Tribe is introduced. Joe Bonecrusher adopted the Native American child after his tribe was massacred. Eliza takes to Tom and, when a fire breaks out in the house, saves him. In the meantime, Tao becomes established in his medical practice and becomes an advocate for the young Chinese girls who have been sent to the United States as prostitutes. The girls, some as young as eleven, rarely live more than two years after arriving. Tao eventually finds Eliza and asks that she come back to San Francisco to help him, which she does.
Back in San Francisco, Eliza hears of Joaquín's death. Before going to view his body, she realizes that she has fallen in love with Tao.
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  #2  
Alt 22.01.10, 22:49
ghostgirl - ait kullanıcı resmi (Avatar)
Genel Yönetici
 
Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
Nereden: Mersin
İletiler: 13.530
ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!
Standart Daughter of Fortune

Characters

Elías Andieta

See Eliza Sommers

Joaquín Andieta

Joaquín is a very poor young man who ekes out a living at Jeremy Sommers's import business. He is a socialist at heart, much like Allende's own uncle, and works hard to try to unionize workers and protest against the government's treatment of the poor. He seduces Eliza with his intelligence and spirit, but it is unclear if he really falls in love with her. Joaquín seems rather to be in love with the idea of socialism. He leaves Chile in pursuit of gold in California. Stories about him abound, especially after Jacob (Todd) Freemont begins to mythologize him in exaggerated newspaper accounts of his activities, renaming him Joaquín Murieta. The story of Joaquín after his arrival in California is obscure. Readers never see him again, so all the details about his whereabouts and his activities are no more verifiable than gossip. He is found dead at the end of the story, having been shot by a group of mercenaries as they supposedly try to rid the West of one more notorious "Mexican" outlaw.

Señora Andieta

Señora Andieta is Joaquín's mother. She is very poor and loves her son very much. She is the one who leads Rose to assume that Eliza has gone to California when Rose visits her and discovers Joaquín's location.

Babalu the Bad

Babalu the Bad is a bodyguard for Joe Bone-crusher's girls. He is very big and said to be able to do the work of several men. He tries to make a "man" out of Eliza, whom he thinks is a bit too feminine to be a boy. He is an illiterate convict from Chicago who walked across the Midwest and the mountains to look for gold in California.

Joe Bonecrusher

Joe Bonecrusher is a very masculine woman who works as a madam in a traveling parlor of prostitutes. She and her girls are protected by Babalu the Bad. Joe befriends Eliza, letting her earn her keep by playing the piano to help entertain the men who come to visit Joe's girls.

Karl Bretzner

Karl Bretzner is an Austrian tenor who goes to London to perform several of Mozart's works for the royal family. He seduces Rose Sommers with his voice. She attends every performance, which he eventually notices and takes advantage of when he invites her to his dressing room. According to the narrator, he is built like a butcher, but his voice arouses an uncontrollable passion in Rose, and she gives in to him. Later, Jeremy Sommers guesses what is going on and investigates Bretzner, discovering that he is a married man and the father of two children.

Tao Chi'en

Tao Chi'en was born in Kwangtun Province in China to a very poor family. His father is a healer, and, before his family sells Tao, he learns many healing properties of plants, a fact that saves his life later when he is resold to a wealthy zhong yi, an acupuncture master, as an apprentice. The master takes Tao Chi'en in as his own son, gives him his name, and teaches him everything that he knows. When the master commits suicide, Tao inherits his money and medical instruments.
Tao then moves to Hong Kong, where he sets up his own practice and marries Lin. Then, in a totally inebriated state, Tao is kidnapped by John and taken aboard his ship to work as a cook. Tao and John become friends, which leads to Tao's being in Chile when Eliza asks for his help in smuggling her aboard a ship that is going to California.
Tao is haunted by the spirit of his wife, but he must accept the fact that his relationship with Eliza is deepening. He sets up a medical practice in San Francisco while Eliza travels through the mining towns in the California mountains, searching for Joaquín. Tao becomes involved in helping to rescue young Chinese girls who are brought into San Francisco as forced prostitutes. In the end, he and Eliza admit their feelings for each other.

Chile Boy

See Eliza Sommers

Agustín del Valle

Agustín del Valle is a character who represents the rich landowners and the power they have in Chile. He is known as a rake (a womanizer) and a severe landlord who often brutalizes his tenants. He is also the epitome of a dictatorial patriarch, as he demands that his family obey him. He rules the women in his family with an exceptionally tight rein, to the point of insisting that his daughter Pauline be taken to a distant convent after she falls in love with a man of whom he does not approve. Pauline defies him, however, demonstrating Allende's rejection of the patriarchal society.

Pauline del Valle

When Pauline del Valle falls in love with Feliciano, her father orders that her hair be cut off to shame her and then sends her to be raised by nuns, locked away in a convent. Pauline is a feisty woman, however, and defies her father by running away from the convent and into the arms of her lover. Eventually, her father relents and allows the young couple to be married. Pauline proves to be a good wife and a very intelligent and intuitive businesswoman.

Jacob Freemont

See Jacob Todd

Mama Fresia

Mama Fresia is of Mapuche Indian descent and works in the Sommers household as a cook and maid. She takes care of Eliza in ways that Rose does not. She tends Eliza's health with medicinal plants and incantations, teaches her skills in the kitchen, and tells her stories from her ancestral mythology. She also teaches Eliza how to read her dreams and how to understand nature. These skills, more than the ones that Rose teaches Eliza, help Eliza to survive during her journey into the Wild West of 1850s California.

Lin

Lin is Tao Chi'en's wife. She was brought to Tao through a matchmaker. Tao loved her for her tiny feet, which had been bound since she was a child. She and Tao fall in love upon marrying, and she eventually becomes pregnant but loses the baby. Not much later, she becomes ill. After her death, she appears to Tao and eventually tells him to move on with his life.

Joaquin Murieta

See Joaquín Andieta

Tom No-Tribe

Tom No-Tribe is the adopted son of Joe Bonecrusher. Joe found him after Tom's tribe had been massacred when Tom was only four years old. Eliza tells Tao that she wants to one day have a son as brave as Tom.

Azucena Placeres

Azucena Placeres is a Chilean woman who is on the same ship as Eliza as they go to San Francisco. Tao enlists Azucena's assistance in helping Eliza through her fever. Eliza repays her by giving her one of her necklaces. Later, John recognizes the necklace and insists that she tell him where Eliza is. Azucena lies, telling John that Eliza is dead.

Feliciano Rodriquez de Santa Cruz

Feliciano discovers gold in northern Chile. Since his money is newly found, he is not accepted into the old Chilean aristocracy and is rejected by Agustín del Valle, the father of the woman he loves. Feliciano plots to steal Pauline away from the convent where her father has sent her. Later, after they are married, Feliciano trusts Pauline's intuitive business sense and opens a bank account in her name, giving her money to invest on her own.

Eliza Sommers

Eliza Sommers is the product of an affair between John Sommers and a Chilean woman, whose name John cannot remember. She is left on the doorstep of Rose and Jeremy's house. Her development takes an interesting twist as she learns about British society through Rose and the way of the Chilean peasant through Mama Fresia. At the age of sixteen, she falls in love with Joaquín and has a clandestine love affair, which results in pregnancy. When Joaquín leaves to find gold in California, she insists on following him. To do so, she must sneak away from Rose and Jeremy and be hidden on board a sailing ship.
As she rides in the belly of the vessel in the dark recesses of the very small storage room, she loses her baby and is symbolically reborn to a new sense of self. It is through this experience that she also meets Tao, who will represent a more mature love relationship for her. When she arrives in California, she sets out to find Joaquín. In the process, she finds herself. First, she dons men's clothing and takes on a masculine identity in order to free herself from the prescribed notions of womanhood she has come to know. During this process, she takes on the name of Elías Andieta, the younger brother of Joaquín. Other people whom she meets also give her the nickname Chile Boy. In finding her independence, she discovers that she can redefine her feminine role. In the wild, she learns to earn her own living and to see life as an adventure rather than as a boring process of following someone else's senseless rules. It is then that she realizes that the love for Joaquín was immature. At the time of his death, she realizes that she is free of all the shackles that have held her back.

Jeremy Sommers

Jeremy Sommers is the oldest sibling of the Sommers family, the brother of Rose and John. He is thirty years old and still single when Eliza is left on his doorstep. He travels to Chile, taking his sister Rose with him to escape a scandal she was involved in, and becomes the manager for the British Import and Export Company, Ltd. He is very protective of Rose and also very concerned about appearances. He tries to rule his little family like a dictator but is often thwarted by both Rose and Eliza.

John Sommers

John Sommers is the renegade of the Sommers family. He has spent all of his adult life at sea. He drinks hard and finds pleasure in a wide variety of women. He is the exact opposite of his older brother, Jeremy. He is also the father of Eliza, although he does not admit this until the end of the story.

Rose Sommers

Rose Sommers is Jeremy and John's sister. She has a love affair with the Austrian tenor Karl Bretzner, a married man, while she lives in London. She spends the rest of her life taking care of Jeremy, who remains a bachelor.
When Rose is twenty years old, she takes in a baby girl, whom she names after her mother. She suspects that the baby is a child of her brother John, but she does not confront him with this fact until the end of the story. She lives vicariously through Eliza, doing all that she can to help the young child grow up and find a successful husband. She rarely consults Eliza about her own desires.
Rose enjoys the liberty of not having to submit to the demands of a husband and brushes off several proposals, including those of Jacob Todd. Although she enjoys her semi-independence, she states that she wants Eliza to grow up and have a better fate than her own.

Michael Steward


Michael Steward is a naval officer whom Rose sees as a proper suitor for Eliza. She woos him in Eliza's name, which confuses the young man, who incorrectly assumes that Rose herself is attracted to him.

Jacob Todd

Jacob Todd is referred to as a "charismatic redhead." He comes to Chile on a bet that he can sell three hundred bibles. It is assumed that he is a preacher, a fact that he does not deny, and, eventually, he accepts money built on this assumption. Todd falls in love with Rose but is rebuffed. He later is found out to be a fraud and leaves Chile, only to reappear in the story while Eliza and Tao are in California. In San Francisco, he takes on the name Jacob Freemont and becomes a newspaper reporter who writes a series of exaggerated stories about Joaquín, building him up as an infamous rebel, which ultimately leads to Joaquín's death.

Ah Toy

Ah Toy is based on a real person, a Chinese woman who sets up a house in which men can pay to look at her. This soon leads to more promiscuous activities, which end with Ah Toy becoming a very wealthy madam. She imports young Chinese girls, whom Tao tries to rescue.
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