Magical Realism in "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "The House of the Spirits"

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The authors of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "The House of The Spirits" use "magical realism" to combine the fantastical world with the real world, using their Latin American cultural influence as a common basis.

So what exactly is “magical realism”? Magical realism is the co-existence of the real world and the fantastical world; a state in which both worlds interconnect to affect each other. For example, the characters may find it perfectly normal for a fantastical occurrence to happen (such as a ghost visit). There are many more aspects of magical realism in these novels.

In the book "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, there are many examples of magical realism used. There are many examples of magical realism throughout this book. For example, when Jose Arcadio Buendia is killed, his blood weaves its way through the village as if it has a mind of its own, and makes its way to the Buendia house. The blood was "...hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs..."(Marquez 132). This quote from the author personifies the innate and gives it a supernatural touch by animating the blood. Most importantly, this gives the lifeless object a motive: to bring Ursula to the source of Jose Arcadio Buendia’s blood.

Another example of this is when Amaranta is visited by an old woman (who is thought to be Death itself) who tells her that she is going to die as soon as she finishes her shroud- which would then be used at her own burial. When Amaranta does finally complete it, the elderly woman’s words come true- and she immediately dies. This not only animates death but makes it so believable that Amaranta dies as soon as she completes the shroud.

There are also ghosts, apparitions and visions in this book. A prime example is the spirit of Melquidades. This only adds to the magical realism as Marquez slowly blends the real world and the fantastical world.
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