In Isabel Allende's novel, The House of the Spirits, the important event of Clara Trueba's death serves as a structural division in the plot. Clara's death changes the diction, ambience, and mood in the setting of the novel. Clara's clairvoyance is also revealed to us through Allende's skillful use of magic realism, a literary technique used to incorporate mythical elements into an appearance of reality. Clara, with her supernatural powers, forms a sense of protection for her family. Clara's death also transformed the rebellious nation's political system, the lives of the different family members, and even the spirits in the house; from the translucent images and surreal tone, before Clara's death, to absolute realism of panic and chaos after her death.
Through Allende's tone and diction, the reader is aided in realizing a shift in the plot, "Alba knew that her grandmother was the soul of the big house on the corner, everybody else learned it later, when Clara died and the house lost its flowers, its nomadic friends, and its playful spirits and entered into an era of decline" (274). Clara's death sparks the shift of the tone and diction. Although presented as a minor and almost insignificant element in the novel, her death is greatly impactful when taking to mind her relationships with members in her family, the country's politics, and the impact it made on the conclusion of the story. This second part of the novel takes a steep downturn and contrasts with the first part of the story that contains mystical and magic realism.
Before Clara's death, the novel starts with a dream-like perspective on politics, life, and the relationship between family members. Clara is the family's soul or "clear light" (291), sparking their futures with uplifting vibes and fueling the joy in their lives. Clara is seen as an angel, especially towards Esteban. Her angelic representations also serves as stability in the Trueba family life, which is also revealed by the diction used in descriptions.