Deliberate Alienation: Surrealism and Magical Realism Critical thinking is a terrible thing.

Deliberate Alienation: Surrealism and Magical Realism Critical thinking is a terrible thing.

Length: 4571 words (13.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Deliberate Alienation: Surrealism and Magical Realism Critical thinking is a terrible thing.

At least, that seems to be a popular opinion. We live in an age where people are willing to look to anyone but themselves for advice on what they should think. Rather than figure out what their own opinions are, they trust the thinly-veiled slant of the television newscasters, the politics-masquerading-as-reporting of magazines like Time and Newsweek. There are fashion shows and magazines that tell you what you think is stylish. Children in grade school and high school are actually discouraged from thinking differently from their peers or from their teachers. Even television commercials or assigned readings in school that encourage positive behavior are only promoting this phenomenon of mental laziness: whether people are told to think good things or told to think bad things is unimportant; either way they're still not doing their own thinking.

Lest we become a culture of zombies, it seems important somehow to stop this disturbing trend. But how to combat this kind of apathy? Any appeal to the brain-dead must require them to use that very organ which they are allowing to atrophy.

Perhaps some shock therapy is in order. There's a reason our language contains the phrase "to slap some sense into" someone. I propose that the best way to cure such mental apathy is to attack it. By presenting the individual with an apparent reality which contradicts or prevents what s/he is familiar or comfortable with, one would force him/her to spend the necessary cognitive effort to correct or reconcile the discrepancy, or risk existing in an utterly absurd, impossible, and nonsensical world. Purposely inducing cognitive dissonance may be the best...


... middle of paper ...


...e Old Man and the Wormhole." Available online: http://justice.loyola.edu/~mcoffey/ce/wormhole.html , May 9, 2000.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting For Godot. (New York: Grove Press, 1956.)

Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones. (New York: Grove Press, 1962.)

García Màrquez, Gabriel, trans. Gregory Rabassa. One Hundred Years of Solitude. (New York: Harper & Row, 1998.)

Magritte, René. Painting: Le Prêtre Marié (The Married Priest). 1961. Available online: http://www.magritte.com/3_detail.cfm?ID=253 , May 9, 2000.

O'Brien, Dan. "Borges Rides the Cyclone." In Ketchin, Susan, and Neil Giordano, eds. 25 and Under/Fiction. (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1997.)

Sartre, Jean-Paul, trans. S. W. Allen. Black Orpheus. (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1948.)

Sartre, Jean-Paul, trans. Lloyd Alexander. The Wall. (New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1975.)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about World of Surrealism in the Works fo Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali

- Surrealism, who has not heard this word nowadays. World of the dreams and everything that is irrational, impossible or grotesque, a cultural movement founded immediately after the First World War and still embraced nowadays by many artists. In order to understand it better it is necessary to look deeper into the work of two outstanding artists strongly connected with this movement, and for whom this style was an integral part of their lives. This essay's primary objective is to look closer at Desk Suit , 1936, by Elsa Schiaparelli and compare it to Anthropomorphic Chest of Drawers, 1936, by Salvador Dali....   [tags: surrealism, motif, fashion, art]

Powerful Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)

Surrealism In Film Essay

- Surrealism is a movement that built off of the burgeoning look into art, psychology, and the workings of the mind. Popularly associated with the works of Salvador Dali, Surrealist art takes imagery and ideology and creates correlation where there is none, creating new forms of art. In this essay I will look to explore the inception of the surrealist movement, including the Surrealist Manifesto, to stress the importance of these artists and their work in the 20th century and beyond. I also will look to films from our European Cinema course to express how films incorporate the influence of surrealism both intentionally and unintentionally....   [tags: Surrealist Manifesto, European Film]

Powerful Essays
2459 words (7 pages)

The History and Theory of Magical Realism Essay

- The History and Theory of Magical Realism Magical Realism is one of today's most popular subjects in literature to discuss regarding its history and theory of Magical Realism. It began in the Latin culture and now is known word wide for its attributes. Magical Realism is even rivaling some of the great masterpieces of modern and past literature. Someday Magical Realism will be recognized and respected just as the classics are today. Magical Realism supposedly began in 1935 with its golden age occurring between 1940 and 1950.The Magical Realism of Spanish and Latin America can be somewhat attributed to the social, political, and European influence....   [tags: Literature Magical Realism Essays]

Powerful Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Theory of Alienation: Marx and Nietzsche

- Marx’s theory of alienation is concerned primarily with social interaction and production; he believes that we are able to overcome our alienation through human emancipation. Marx’s theory of alienation is the process by which social organized productive powers are experienced as external or alien forces that dominate the humans that create them. He believes that production is man’s act on nature and on himself. Man’s relationship with nature is his relationship with his tools, or means of production....   [tags: Theory of Alienation]

Powerful Essays
2372 words (6.8 pages)

Magical Realism as Applied to the Field of Psychology Essay

- Magical Realism as Applied to the Field of Psychology Throughout time, one finds many different categories of literature. Magical Realism, a relatively new category, seems to be one of, if not the most, controversial category of the last century. Magical Realism combines a magical, often grotesque, element with a reality based background and allows the reader to view life in a more profound way. The field of psychology, specifically the case of the Wild Child known as Genie, parallels very closely with the ideals of Magical Realism....   [tags: Magical Realism Literature]

Powerful Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Magical Realism

- Magical Realism The idea of a genre of art that is called magical realism is less a trend than a tradition, an evolving genre that has its waxings and wanings, where each evolving form expresses an idea that may overlap another, yet at the same time branches off and creates something very different. What began in the visual arts has become a contemporary literary genre due to divergences. Contemporary Latin American writers of this mode include Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, and Majorie Agosin....   [tags: Magical Realism Essays]

Powerful Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Workplace Alienation Essay

- Throughout my work experience I have been a witness to various degrees of work alienation. As I continue to gather additional experience in the work environment and engage in discussions with fellow employees, it is clearly evident that there is workplace discontentment and feelings of being taken advantage of. Based on my work experiences to date, I agree with James Rinehart’s claim that forms of alienation are evident in the workplace. They force human beings into modes of behaviour that are unnatural and possibly harmful....   [tags: Work and Alienation]

Powerful Essays
1181 words (3.4 pages)

Magical Realism Essay examples

- To many critics of the genre, Magical Realism is nothing but updated children's tales being passed off as substantial literature, but if we look deeper, the essence of this movement is bared to the viewer. By looking at the history and origins of Magical Realism, as well as the term itself, we can begin to understand the importance of this writing style in today's society. The roots behind Magical Realism are found in many cultures, but the literature is mainly attributed to South American writers, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez....   [tags: Magical Realism Essays]

Free Essays
583 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Surrealism

- Surrealism Surrealism was one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th Century. André Breton consolidated Surrealism as a movement in the early 1920s, trying to achieve the “total liberation of the mind and of all that resembles it[1]” through innovative and varied ideas. Surrealism deeply influenced the world in the era between the two world wars and played a big role in the diffusion and adoption of psychology worldwide. Surrealism faded after World War II, but its revolutionary genius has influenced every artistic movement ever since....   [tags: Art Painting Artistic Essays]

Powerful Essays
2056 words (5.9 pages)

Surrealism Essay

- Surrealism encompasses a reality above the surface reality, usually through efforts to suspend the discipline of conscious or logical reason, aesthetics, or morality in order to allow for the expression of subconscious thought and feeling. This literary technique, if successful, provides the audience with a suspension of disbelief, an acceptance of the imaginative aspects of the author's fantastic creation. "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe, are two examples of surrealism....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Powerful Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)