Essay about The Magic Chalk, by Abe Kobo

Essay about The Magic Chalk, by Abe Kobo

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Magic, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a power that allows people to do impossible things by saying special words and performing special actions. When looking at the context of this definition, one can then define the term magical realism. Magical Realism is defined as a literary genre in which the author creates two conflicting positions, one rooted in logic and the other rooted in mysticism. In Kobo Abe’s short story, The Magic Chalk, Abe effectively creates a binary between the creator and the creation through the narrative style of magical realism and through the narrative techniques of characterization, irony, and symbolism where the protagonist alters the world to become his own creation.
Kobo Abe writes The Magic Chalk in the narrative style of magical realism. Through this style, Abe then has the ability to create situations that could not otherwise be realized in a real world situation. Abe through this narrative style he effectively creates questions of judgment, existentialism, and sexism. Throughout the text, the reader is constantly challenged to reevaluate what they hold and deem to be true. Thus, Abe causes the reader to become a more active reader.
Abe’s short story begins with the protagonist, Argon, finding a piece of chalk in his pocket, in which later he realizes that this particular piece of chalk has the capability of bringing whatever he draws to life. Through this piece of chalk, he sets out to create a new world based on his own image and vision. Through this, Abe effectively characterizes a man with a God complex. The audience is presented with this character who has suddenly been given this unimaginable power and wishes to create his own world. This is exemplified through Argon saying, “Nothing else m...


... middle of paper ...


...own creation where Argon is completely absorbed into the image where he is lying above Eve.
In summation, the narrative style and the narrative techniques that are used by Abe in The Magic Chalk allows the reader to gain a broader understanding of both the plot and the theme of the short story. Through this, Abe gives the reader the ability to interpret the story from multiple viewpoints and interpretations. The Magic Chalk allows effective interpretation of the theme: the creator versus the creation. Perhaps one could even argue that throughout The Magic Chalk, the creator was not in actuality Argon, but rather Abe himself.



Works Cited

Solomon, Barbara H. Other Voices, Other Vistas: Short Stories from Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Mentor Book, 1992. Print.

The Holy Bible. New York: American Bible Society, 1992. Print.

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