Magic Realism - Research Paper Example

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Order#: 521564 Abstract: Magical realism is the art of infusing the supernatural in the mundane. Many Latin American authors exploit the power of magical realism in their novels, in which characters have regular encounters with the spiritual world. This capacity equips them with a 'sixth sense' so that they have superhuman insight, see apparitions unseen to natural eyes or communicate with spirits or spirits of the departed…
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Magic Realism
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Download file to see previous pages The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende is a text peopled by characters with magical capabilities. Characters, such as Clara, are endowed with uncanny, spiritual ability such as clairvoyance, interpretation of dreams, and telekinesis (moving objects with the mind). In the novel, writing is not a mere activity. It becomes a spiritual affair in which the writer undergoes a catharsis or inner purging, wielding the power of the pen. Clara records her dreams and spiritual encounters to be passed down to future generations. In this world, “conventional resources were not everything” (Conniff 1990). Spirits aid man in a mutually beneficial relationship. She relates well with the good spirits and they abide in her home, giving her a contentment that nothing material could bring. Characters can see the apparition of ghosts and experience comforting spirits participating in daily life so much so that the residents of the home accept them as normal. The paranormal constantly takes place in the novel. For example, Clara miraculously finds the lost head of her mother who accidentally gets decapitated. The spirits reveal to her the head's exact location when no one could retrieve it. The punctuation of the novel with magic and surreal occurrences impresses on the mind the intersection of the spiritual world (embodied as Clara) and the material (embodied as Esteban).  In Monkey Beach, Lisa, the protagonist equally has phenomenal spiritual ability to foresee events through dreams before they come to pass. In the Haisla culture in Canada, the Native Indians cherish the culture of supernatural consciousness and communication with dead ancestors. Ma-Ma-Oo, Lisa’s grandmother, appreciates Lisa’s unusual gift and teaches her how to sharpen and control it. In magical realism novels, the presence of older generations is indispensable because the work “is the simultaneous impetus of atavism and modernism” (Gish 1990). Lisa learns about her sixth sense and later ‘sees’ a vision of her dead brother relaying an urgent message to her. Lisa also receives a vision that her best friend has died. Magical realism is woven into Monkey Beach not only through Lisa, but also through the old witch, Screwy Ruby, Sasquatch (an fabled animal from another world) and a strange little man who appears to Lisa whenever something imminent is about to take place. These personas are gifted with premonitions and foretelling. Some of Lisa’s family members also have strains of her spiritual gift but choose to deny it. Setting is key in structuring a text with magical realism. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the setting is a fantastic, timeless village called Macondo, whose inhabitants are immortal. Setting not only signifies space, but also time. Time laws in magical realism works operate outside of the normal sphere. “Time is curved and coincidental in a whole moment that is outside of clock time” (Rabassa 1973). Marquez’ title emphasizes a timelessness which also points to an otherworldliness. Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes the Macondo village as a place untainted and uncorrupted by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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