Sublime and Fantastic Elements in The Day We Were Dogs

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Sublime and Fantastic Elements in The Day We Were Dogs

"The Day We Were Dogs" is a short story written by an author born in Puebla, Mexico, in 1993. Elena Garro's major themes revolve around the concepts of time and memory. I do not believe this story is a true example of magical realism; however I do see the sublime and the fantastic used in this story.

I think that this story is really a misidentification of magical realism. To start out, I was moved by the way the author talked about a day with two days inside of it. How could this occurrence be? It is two days and two realities. There also were two afternoons and two heavens, dogs talking, dogs named Buddha and Christ. I just see Garro trying to imitate magical realism, but she did a bad job of it. I do have to give her credit for bringing the sublime and the fantastic in, though.

The characteristics of magical realism are phenomenal, deeper realm, visibility, mysterious, opinionated, timeless fluidity, and fascinating. This story has none of those characteristics, or at least it does not express them the way a magical realism story would. "We recognize the world, although now-not only because we have emerged from a dream-we look on it with new eyes"(Roh 17). I see what Roh is trying to say about magical realism, and I do not think one can use these certain strategies to figure out this story because it is fantastical and sublime.

The fantastic is characterized by the marvelous, the uncanny, the natural, and the supernatural. The marvelous to me in this story would be the two parallel days. It seems so normal how Garro talks about it. They looked at one day or thing and saw what happened, and then they looked at another. Being able to experience time this way seems so wild and crazy. Rabkin states that "we recognize this reversal (90 to 180) through certain textual (signals):the reactions of the characters, the statements of the narrators, and the implications of structures provided by implied authors."(Rabkin 11). The story does show a big reversal as the dogs act as dogs and the people act as dogs. Also, the character questions, "I'm a dog"? Then another dog replies, "Yes we are dogs." I saw that later on in the story she realizes that she was a dog by replying ,"Woof, Woof, Woof," when someone asked her a question.

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