At the University of Paris she studied literature and philosophy. There, she was part of a different cultural and artistic panorama, place where she gained interest in literature and of course, in writing novels. After finishing her university studies she came back to Chile, reuniting with his mother and sisters again. She also studied violin with the music teacher Jacques Thibaud and drama with Charles Dolan. In she published one of her most famous and most important novels in Chilean literature , La Amortajada, which earned her the Premio de la Novela de la Municipalidad de Santiago Novel prize of Santiago's Municipality. During their marriage, Bombal began to suffer from depression, and attempted suicide.
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The story is characteristic of her work in that it presents a poetically rendered reality and the theme of a woman's isolated and marginalized existence in search of love, communication, and understanding.
The protagonist's tale is a recollection during a concert of her past life. Her inner sanctum is invaded, however, when the tree is cut down. Debicki has asserted that the story's complex structure keeps Bombal from this danger. By means of a delicate interweaving of the present and the past, as well as the protagonist's outer and inner realities, Bombal communicates in a concise and vivid manner a woman's existentialist plight.
The most notable element of the story is the contrast between the vigorous narrative movement and the protagonist's static life. The structure oscillates between two types of realities, the temporal and the spatial. The denouement brings both the action and the recollection to a crashing halt as the pianist finishes his performance.
Reality and illusion clash vividly in the tragic outcome. The stylistic and structural elements of the story revolve around three concrete elements: music, water, and the gum tree. The scene of a young girl on a bridge by a quiet brook is offset by recollections of a motherless upbringing and by scorn and indifference on the part of her family. In the middle of the story's tripartite structure the music shifts to Beethoven.
Because she demonstrates awareness of the composer in this segment of the program, we divine her maturity and understanding of her own life. Unlike the tree, however, he offers his wife practical solutions but no sense of comfort or protection. At this point in the story Bombal presents the tree in an archetypal light as a "world submerged in an aquarium" and as a refuge for the neighborhood birds.
An autumnal landscape blends with an acceptance of the tree as a mature and natural companion. The end of the music recalls the sound of the ax and the fall of the tree, and the auditorium lights evoke for the reader the "terrifying" glare that overtakes the room. In a powerful image her room shrinks before our eyes as she becomes aware of an enormous skyscraper that has replaced the tree. As she looks out the window, a narrow alley offers the picture of a bright red service station and of boys playing soccer, reminders of the progressive and practical modern world to which the natural, illusory life is sacrificed.
In the story Bombal effectively develops a conflict through her protagonist's sensitive outlook. The intricate structure and effective use of concrete imagery contribute to a vivid portrayal of the protagonist's agonies, providing the reader with a universal experience of isolation and alienation in a changing world. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. May 23, Retrieved May 23, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
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María Luisa Bombal
The Tree (El árbol) by María Luisa Bombal, 1941