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Essay on Feminism and Magical Realism Across Cultures

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Feminism and Magical Realism Across Cultures as Expressed in Laura Esquivel's Like Water For Chocolate, Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits, Simone Schwarz-Bart's The Bridge of Beyond, and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon.


Magical Realism evolved only in the last century. Franz Roh was the first to use the term to describe paintings and the new style that had come about after the expressionistic era (7, p.15), however it was Alejo Carpentier who used it to describe Latin America's fanatastical writing styles (3, p.373). He felt that magical realism expounded upon reality and "was able to elude realism's insufficiency, in its inablility to describe an ex-centric experience"(3, p.373). Latin America, though perhaps the first to name the new writing phenomena, was not the only country to use it. In the course of this paper I will compare and contrast several different novels from female authors who evoked magical realism into their writing styles. These authors come from Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean, showing the wide range of history and environments. Feeling that the Caribbean alone may prove to narrow a topic for a style that has taken the world by storm, I felt it only fitting that other countries should be included the theme of women in the paper. Also, I selected Africa and parts of Latin America to compare to Caribbean writings because these two continents play a pivotal role in shaping what the Caribbean has become today.

The novels I will be comparing are Laura Esquivel's Like Water For Chocolate, Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits, Simone Schwarz-Bart's The Bridge of Beyond, and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. All of these novels use magical realism, which adds to the reader's enjoyment while desc...


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Works Cited

Allende, Isabel. The House of Spirits. 1982. Bantam Books, New York.

Allende, Isabel. http://www.harpercollins.com/catalog/0060927216.htm

Cohn, Deborah. "To See or Not to See: Invisibility, Clairvoyance, and Re-visions of

History in Invisible Man and La Casa de los Espiritus". Comparative

Literature Studies, Vol. 33, No.4, p. 372-391, 1996.

Ibsen, Krisitne. "On Recipes, Reading and Revolution: Postboon Parody in Como

Aqua Para Chocolate". Hispanic Review, Vol. 63, No.2, p.133. 1995.

Morrison, Toni-Social and Historical Context.

http://www.oll.temple.edu/ih/IH52/Novels/Morrison/MorrisonContext.htm

Schwarz-Bart, Simone. The Bridge of Beyond. 1972. Heinemann Educational

Publishers, Oxford.

Zamora, Lois Parikinson and Wendy B. Faris. Magical Realism. 1995. Duke University

Press, Durham and London.


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