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Use of Magical Realism in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Use of Magical Realism in Gabriel-Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold 

Magical realism is clearly present throughout Gabriel-Garcia Marquez's novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.  Magical realism is the juxtaposition of realism with fantastic, mythic, and magical elements. A secondary trait was the characteristic attitude of narrators toward the subject matter: they frequently appeared to accept events contrary to the usual operating laws of the universe as natural, even unremarkable. Though the tellers of astonishing tales, they themselves expressed little or no surprise. 

Obviously the most concise definition of magical realism is that it is the combination of magical and real elements. The magical elements that exist in works of magical realism are; superstitions, exaggerations, dreams that come true, universal humor and the coincidence of bizarre events. All of these Elements are present within Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

            Placida Linero, Santiago's mother is one example of superstition with is the book.  "She had a well earned reputation as an accurate interpreter of other people's dream, provided they were told to her before eating, but she hadn't notice any ominous augury in those two dream of her son's" (1-2) Santiago's character also represents this element of magical realism. The statement  " Nor did Santiago Nasar recognize the omen" not only reveals his superstition but also the common faith put in superstition. There must have been some sign of the, foreshadowing or coming of his death that he could have seen. It is funny how these omens are more readily accessible after it is too late.

Marquez uses exaggeration in Chronicle of a Death Foretold more than any other element...

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...on, which General Petronio San Roman was a hero of. The dialogue throughout the book stays believable, even though the reports were unordinary the characters responded as if they were ordinary. Such as the narrator saying that he believed that Pedro was awake for months. It is this reality-based core with real people and places, a recognizable setting and believable conversation that enables Marquez to twist in the magical details giving this novel the genre of magical realism.

"What came to dominate the story and to leave a lasting impression was the view of man as a mystery surrounded by realistic data. A poetic divination or denial of reality. Something that for lack of a better word could be called magical realism."  -Uslar Pietri

Works Cited:

Gabriel Garcia Collected Novellas: Chronicle of A Death Foretold. New York[:] Harper Collins Publishers, 1990.

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