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Human existence abounds in inexplicable events, occurrences, phenomena, and facts. Typically, it is believed that these cannot be rationally comprehended and analyzed on the basis of common grounds. Frequently, however, individuals are inclined to attribute magical or supernatural powers to the objects or happenings they are unable to cognize from a logical or scientific standpoint. This essay aims to discuss the merger of reality and magic in the works of Marquez , Diaz, and Allende.
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The Significance of Merging the Real with Magical Elements
Magical realism is used in the three novels as a way of making the reader look at the world with the eyes of other people. It entails the use of outstanding literary skills by the authors to portray what looks ordinary as extraordinary and make what seems unusual appear to be commonplace. In using magical realism, the writers have painted pictures of events that people may easily relate themselves to because the issues that the novels depict through the prism of magical realism are the things that happen to many people in every society. The fusion of reality and magic aims at giving life to the fiction and fiction to the life that the author blends so that the readers can get into the world of fantasy created by their imagination while at the same time remaining in the real world in the process of reading the story, being simultaneously within and without.
In literature, merging reality and magic is important because it puts the readers in a position to relate themselves to the world filled with the magical events while at the same time remaining in the real world, and follow events that occur in this fantasy world, understanding, however, that these indeed occur in normal human lives as well. This is to say, magical realism entails the use of a fictional world full of imaginary characters to tell the stories relating to real existence. The interesting aspect of magical realism is that the reality and the magic are so much intertwined that the reader may not be able to distinguish one from another, thereby getting them so much involved in the magical life that they start noticing and understanding the aspects of reality within the story that they read.
In the three books, the authors use the magical realism technique to bring the readers to the world that they hardly understand but can easily adjust to based on the different regular occurrences that are put forward in the stories and do not cause inconvenience while reading. In the book One Hundred Years of Solitude, the author applies this literary style to guide the readers to the place called Macondo, the vivid description of which put forward by the author looks so realistic and makes Macondo a real place in the mind of the reader. Yet, they can neither establish the exact geographic location of this place nor its physical layout, thus not letting them lose track of what reality is and encouraging them to ponder over why the author creates it in their mind (Marquez 30). Once the reader is in this place, all the occurrences that they get to encounter happening in this context and it is impossible to get out of there because it seems that real that the characters are here, all the occurrences happen to the one who is reading too, everything can be smelt, tasted, felt, and touched.
In the book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, magical realism is used to show actual happenings in the lives of characters, the kind of suffering and difficulty that people go through, as well as the hope that they have for the future. One of the major events forming the background of the story is the period of colonialism in the Dominican Republic that led to brutality meted out to the local citizens by the colonial masters (Diaz 325). In this same spirit, the author also gives hope to the reader that all these miseries and suffering can still be brought to an end through some changes. In this context, the author uses the concept of Fuku and Zafa to represent the causes of evil and the ways to undo the bad respectively. Fuku is seen as the major cause of evil and bad activities that make people suffer in society. These include colonialism, corruption, and brutality as depicted by the police and the general wave of violence that is witnessed in the country. In the novel, the author creates Fuku in the minds of the readers and relates it to the real occurrences reflecting what is happening the society indeed. The reader there, fore considers Fuku as a negative matter that leads to bad luck. On the other hand, Zafa is seen as the only hope source that is there for the people to escape from suffering. Zafa is viewed as one major factor that will undo some of the negative experiences affecting society and restore happiness for everybody (Diaz 315). Therefore, in this instance, hope is a real feeling that all humans always have till their last breath, but Zafa is the magic that should bring back this hope and wellbeing to the people. The use of fictional concepts of Zafa and Fuku create the magical atmosphere but still bring the reader back to a real world in which people also believe that despite bad times in one’s life, there is always hope for a better future.
Magic realism, also present in the book The House of Spirits, is manifested in the fact of foreseeing the occurrences that later prove to be real, including the prediction of the accidental death of Rosa by her sister Clara. In this context, the author depicts the use of supernatural powers in foretelling the happenings of different quality. The magic shown in this book is related to what many societies really believe in, including sorcery, fortune-telling, and black magic. This gives the readers the chance to look at the world with the eyes of the people who have and are driven by such beliefs.
Timelessness in works of literature is depicted by merging real and magical elements. The concept of timelessness is used in the book One Hundred Years of Solitude when the events portrayed in it revolve around the same issues, with the cases of repetition and flashbacks going back several generations into the past. The significance of the examples of timelessness in lies in helping the reader not get tired of following along the story through history but rather in assisting them in viewing the past, present, and future in a way that logically combines all the events occurring at different times as if they are happening at the same time (Marquez 80). In a nutshell, Magical Realism portrays the past as a part of the present and the determinant of the future as if it has already happened, thereby giving the reader the opportunity to compare similar events and understand the message of the story the way the author wanted it to be understood.
Parallelisms Between the Stories
The aspects of parallelism can be traced in the three books through different similar happenings. First, the aspect of incest has been indicated in two of the books. The cases of incest which are, in reality, considered abominable acts in various societies have been prominently present in Marquez’s masterpiece with various characters being involved in sexual relationships with their relatives. In this book, incest is seen as an original sin that is orchestrated by the founders of the Buendia family and supported by many others, as proved by the act of Jose Arcadio Buendia marrying his first cousin. This habit has been repeated throughout the book by several other characters. In a similar fashion, incest is committed through rape in the book by Isabel Allende when Estaban Garcia rapes Alba while keeping her as a prisoner. Alba, who is a granddaughter to Estaban Trueba, is a paternal niece to her rapist (Allende 150).
Another portrayal of parallelism is related to the political issues that are vividly described in two of three novels. There are also common themes of political violence and brutality that is also related to political oppression and the shared desire for a revolution and change. First and foremost, in the book The House of Spirits, political violence is common and mainly depicted through coups, revolution, and killing of political activists and their sympathizers (Allende 102). A similar situation is described in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao where colonialism leads to the oppression and slaughter of people opposed to the colonial policies.
Parallelism is also seen through the theme of love which features prominently in all three books. The aspect of love that stands out is the either the inability to find love as reflected in Marquez’s and Diazsworks or impossibility to fully have the one you want as described in Allende’s novel. Just like the rest of the Buendia family, Oscar is unable to find love and when he finally thinks he does, a terrible misfortune befalls him as he gets killed after having sex with the prostitute who also turns out to be the girlfriend of a police officer. In Marquez, parallelism can be observed through a similar hope after the last representatives of their generation Aureliano and Amaranta give birth to a child who they hope will grant a new start for the family and put an end to all the misfortunes (Marquez 150). As it turns out, this same child is the one who spells doom for the family by growing into the perpetually feared monster with a pig’s tail. The obsession of Esteban Trueba with his wife whose complete attention and love he cannot win is an example of such motif in The House of Spirits.
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The state of being on the verge of reality and magic or fiction is the one which fascinates every keen reader. The authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Junot Diaz, and Isabel Allende are the masters of creating magical reality in their works giving their readers the feeling of presence in the setting they portray. This feeling, spurred up by an intricate plot and a good love story spiced with the challenges for those in love is what makes reading one of the most favorite pastimes in the world.