TRUEBA Esteban Trueba's triumphs and defeats Isabel
Allende documents The House of the Spirits. After leaving,
his mother and sister, and starting a new and independent
life, Esteban changes much. For the first time he is successful
and wealthy. He feels as if he has no problems, mainly
because he does not have a family to weigh him down.

Trueba's move to Three Marias seems to appease his hunger
temporarily, before his monstrous, demanding, and ever
growing needs overwhelms him. The type of lifestyle
achieved by Esteban Trueba in Three Marias far surpassed
that of living with his mother and sister, however only brief
moments of satisfaction are incurred. These, previously
mentioned, moments created a hunger for perfection and
greed that would continue perpetuate at any cost. Receiving
a letter from Ferula brings back memories for Esteban of his
sad life with her and his mother, which forces him to endure
his memories of poverty and pain. He even remembers the
smell of medicince, which had encompassed their home.

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These memories force Esteban to reflect on the reasons why
he left them. He reminisces on that portion of his life,
occupied by the deterioration of his family. Ferula endured
many burdens as well, due to their father's drinking, then his
death, their mother's age, her chronic sicknesses, and
Esteban's childhood care. A direct result of these chaotic
years is the siblings inability to relate. When Esteban bought
a luxury, an elaborate coffee with his money she scolded him
for "spending Mama's medicine money on his private little
whims" (Allende 43). Eventually Esteban tires of this
oppressive way of life and goes to search for a "destiny that
was bright, free, and full of promise" (Allende 44). At Tres
Marias he hopes to find his Eden. All this cargo from his past
is called to his attention by the letter he receives from Ferula.

The letter does result in inflicting guilt on Esteban, for his lack
of morals and complete selfishness. Ferula tells Esteban, in
the letter, that their mother wants to see her son again before
she dies. "Esteban had never really loved his mother or felt at
ease in her presence," but he knew that resisting this visit to
pay his last respects would be unethical (Allende 71).

Visiting "this woman who was always present in his
nightmares," was unavoidable: death is final and feelings are
not(Allende 72). Ferula never enjoys the pleasure in her life,
part of Esteban's dilemma before moving to Three Marias.

Yet, Esteban hopes to avoid his kin for the rest of their lives.

Esteban should not dwell on his family, especially when
everything in his life has gone considerably better without
them. As any family member will attest, there are always
strong family ties regardless of ones denial. The temporary
feelings of a son will eventually leave and regret will occur,
for not visiting, writing or caring while a loved one was still
available. For Esteban, his move to Three Marias simplified
his life, he had no family problems, no financial problems,
and he believed that he was content often. He was
practically a king, do what he pleases on his land with many
uneducated servants, meaning free labor. In Three Marias
people wait on him, he has wealth and unbridled freedom.

None of these luxuries came into Esteban's dreams until he
moved there. He likes Transito Soto and lends her money to
start a new life for herself, away from the brothels. This was
one of the few times throughout the book in which Esteban is
philanthropic. After so many grinding and sorrowful years,
the opportunity Esteban has to meet new people and thrive
in a new town temporarily appeased him. Esteban comes to
believe that the first time he sat down in the first class car of
the train that being first was his pursuit of happiness and
independence. Presumably for Esteban Trueba, marriage,
children, and control, all found at Three Marias, would
ensure his happiness. Despite the prosperity which Esteban
achieved at Three Marias, he would still remain an abrasive
man who could not accept failure or weakness. Prosperity,
women, children, and wealth would never compensate for
his eternal bitterness which could be attributed to his
childhood and early adult years.