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Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

analytical Essay
1304 words
1304 words
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Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez uses “magic realism,” to depict how human beings deal with their self-created solitude. “Magic realism” [Note that the German art critic Franz Roh coined the term “magic realism” in 1925 to describe "a magic insight into reality”][1] is the art of captivating something that in the real world would not be possible and manufacturing it to be believable. It is very different from fairy tale magic, where things are quite astonishing, unbelievable, and over done. Instead, magic realism makes magic seem more spiritual and ordinary. Gabriel García Márquez does a superb job of combining the truly amazing and magical with everyday life, so that magic in Macondo seems normal. Gabriel García Márquez, in part, is successful in “magic realism” because he makes ordinary events extraordinary, and that makes them mundane.

Márquez uses a technique that allows magic realism to work well in this novel, because he uses an exaggerated style of life. Macondo is a magical place, which permits the characters not to notice the magic, especially the exaggerated forms of life. At the same time the style that Márquez uses allows the reader to believe the magic. The extent in which people in the novel age is astounding; this phenomenon is exemplified in the length of Pilar Ternera’s life. “Years before, when she had reached one hundred forty-five years of age, she had given up the pernicious custom of keeping track of her age and she went on living in the static and marginal time of memories.”(424) It is rare today that someone lives to be over 100, and Pilar lives to well over 145 years of age, yet she is not celebrate...

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...at magic is a normal occurrence and that there is no need for excitement. The characters are too involved in their solitude to notice how special and magical their village is. It is this perverse ability to remain in isolation and wrapped in solitude that leads to their ultimate downfall. If they were not as obsessed with their solitude and could have realized the wondrous world they were living in, they could have made the best of their magical gifts. But they did not, and because of their ignorance, their lives and the village was destroyed. “…Because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.” (422)

[1] Liberal Studies 402, on Tuesday, March 28, 1995, by Ian Johnston (lecture)

Works Cited:

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how gabriel garca márquez uses "magic realism" to depict how human beings deal with their self-created solitude.
  • Analyzes how márquez uses a technique that allows magic realism to work well in macondo, which permits the characters not to notice the magic, especially the exaggerated forms of life.
  • Analyzes how márquez makes magic realistic by making the characters blatantly accept the magic as a part of their world.
  • Describes garcia marquez, gabriel, and gregory rabassa's one hundred years of solitude.
  • Analyzes how the gypsies brought a flying carpet to the town for four years, eleven months, and two days. the villagers are amused by the carpet's magical powers, but accept it at face value.
  • Analyzes how the characters of macondo are too involved in their solitude to notice how special and magical their village is.
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