A Reading of Isabel Allende’s “Dos Palabras”

Isabel Allende, the author of “Dos Palabras,” wrote during El Boom Latinomaericano and thus realizes that she used magical realism to tell her story. In reality, it could be said that magical realism is a mixture between fiction and reality within a plot that can be considered normal. So, one could say that there are some real and unreal elements to the plot of “Two Words.” For example, Belisa Crepusculario, the main character, may have lived a poor life before finding the words to help her find dignity, happiness, and love. However, it cannot be that Belisa was born into a family so poor that she did not even have names to call her children. In addition, it is not likely that Belisa crossed a desert in its entirety to reach the sea, which represents life, because there is no water in the desert to survive. On the other hand, one can see that Belisa’s job, which consists of selling the words, can be the reality because there are people in the world who write speeches and “sell the words” on some occasions. However, we know that it cannot be that Belisa is selling words as a remedy for melancholy because words are not remedies. In none of these instances does Isabel Allende think about the facts to tell her story because she offers unreal situations within a normal plot, an approach that stands out in magical realism.

In the plot, Belisa and the colonel come to fall in love through words, one thing that brings them together to be lovers. In the story, one reads that the colonel wants to be president because he can no longer live life in the military because the colonel has to sleep in inhospitable areas and eat iguanas and snake soup. Again, there is an exaggeration and something unreal within a normal plot because it is doubtful that the colonel had eaten iguanas or snake soup. Furthermore, it should be noted that Belisa is an educated woman who knows how to use words, but the colonel is a strong man who wants to promote democracy but cannot read or write. So, the two of them together make a good team because the colonel achieves his goal of being president of the town through giving Belsia’s speech that is poetic and magical. In the end, when Belisa approaches the colonel to give him the two extra words, the act shows a strong attraction between the two and this attraction is so strong that it affects the environment. That is why the mulatto, the colonel’s faithful dog, thinks that Belisa has given him a spell. However, spells do not exist and Allende, again, wants her readers not to ask those questions because this is magical realism, adding unreal elements within a normal context.