Magical Realism

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Zhengwei Sun
Essay #1
Dr. Brandon Chitwood
2013/3/6

At the beginning of the novel of the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the plot is triggered by Trujillo who was the dictator of Dominican Republic during 1930s and 40s. The curse of fuku was also closely related to Trujillo. The whole book was talking about how Oscar, Lola, Belicia and Abelard and this family fought against the curse of fuku which was caused by Trujillo. By unconventionally using a writing method of magic realism, the author Junot Diaz wrote about a real history of Dominican Republic during Trujillo’s dictatorship period and the lives of Dominican people who live in America nowadays. Magical realism allows Diaz to bring supernatural elements to the story. Even though this novel has many magic elements, the core of it is trying to express the Dominican Republic’s or Latin American social reality and reality of people’s lives and the magic elements are only the technique of expression to reflect the realism.

First of all, in the prolog of this book, the curse or supernatural power of fuku was introduced. Diaz maintains that even if you do not believe in fuku, fuku believes in you. Obviously, this is a straightforward magical element in the magic realism. Here, the introduction of fuku has twofold meanings to reflect the realism about Dominican Republic or Latin America. To begin, the mysterious power of fuku is a quite effective attention-getter. In my opinion, Diaz gives detailed origin and history of fuku. What is more, he personally connected the assassination of the American President JFK with fuku. This new thought brings me a shocking idea and attracts my attention about this book simultaneously. Fuku or this magic element is a tool to express the reality. The second fold of meaning of introduction of fuku is that to reflect and tell readers the historical background of Dominican Republic or Latin America. As one of the countries of Latin America, Dominican Republic has its deep...
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