Ines of My Soul Essay

Words: 943
Pages: 4

In Isabel Allende’s Inés of My Soul, one woman, Inés Suarez, challenges the traditional role of women and society by embarking upon a journey alongside her companion to conquer a part of the New World. Throughout the expedition, Inés faces challenges because of her gender, yet she also manages to use her gender and the traditional gender role to her advantage.
In Spain, machismo was prevalent in society, allowing for men to feel and act as if inherently superior to women. Although she was not a submissive wife, Inés was still subject to sexist remarks by her husband, Rodrigo de Quiroga. For example, as Inés attempted to discourage Rodrigo from an expedition to the New World by arguing that everything had already been discovered,
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As the captains debated whether to execute Sancho de la Hoz, Ines remained silent and did not tell Pedro what he should do, since she did not want to be seen as a virago who told de Valdivia everything that he should do.
During the battles against the indigenous, Ines and the other women were expected to cook for the soldiers and take care of them. Indeed, the women played a key role in the sustenance of the soldiers. Ines, Catalina, Cecilia, and other women would go to surrounding areas and trade with the indigenous tribes. They also considered themselves ‘healers’ and ‘physicians.’ As Ines states, “We had good hands for setting broken bones, cauterizing wounds, and helping as midwives; those talents served us well.”
Certainly, Ines and the other women played an important role in the colonization of such countries, including Chile. In Spain, women lived in a highly patriarchal society. Yet, even though such traits were present in the New World, women were allowed to express themselves more freely there. In the New World, women had a higher chance of social mobility and increasing their social status. With them, they brought their nurturing skills as caretakers of the soldiers, which contributed to their survival significantly. However, one also has to consider the hardships that women had to endure. Ines Suarez faced many of these challenges, yet her character allowed her to overcome them. She also possessed unique talents that allowed her to earn