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Magical Elements in The Day We Were Dogs

Satisfactory Essays
Magical Elements in The Day We Were Dogs

The short story "The Day We Were Dogs", first published in 1993, was written by Elena Garro. She was born in Pueblo, Mexico, on December 15, 1920. I feel that the story definitely has to deal with magical realism. "The Day We Were Dogs" has too many magical elements that are treated as normal not to be magical realism. However, I also felt that the story has some unreal elements that are not treated as normal. Therefore, I feel that the story may also fit into the genre of fantastic literature, which creates questions about the unreal elements. Given this fact that the story hovers between magical realism and fantastic literature, it can not be absolutely defined as an example of magical realism.

After reading "The Day We Were Dogs", I felt that some things were treated as normal. One of the characteristics of magical realism is the fact that the girls might be dogs. To me, this is an obvious magical element. A human can not turn into a dog in any way, shape, or form. Also, a magical realist characteristic is when one of the girls touched a worm with her fingertip and it became a red ring (208). If she is a dog, I find myself asking: Why is he touching the worm with his fingertip? In addition, Eva rested her head on her fore paws and closed her eyes (209). The fact that the girls are switching from a human back to an animal seems magical to me. Most importantly, these magical elements are treated as normal by the characters, a necessary criteria for magical realism (Faris 172).

The sun beating down, the earth burned, and the dogs' food was heavy as bags of rocks (209), however, in my opinion, is an example of an unreal element that is questionable. Dog food is heavy, but I do not think that it is as heavy as rocks. I felt that it was somewhat an exaggeration. Therefore, I feel that it is a fantastic element, one that is questioned (Todorov), rather than an example of magical realism in which the unreal is treated as normal.

Grounding the magical elements in reality is also a characteristic of magical realism. I found some realistic elements in the story "The Day We Were Dogs" as well.
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