Magical Realism in Seventh Heaven

Magical Realism in Seventh Heaven

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Magical Realism in Seventh Heaven

    The book Seventh Heaven was written by an American author by the name of Alice Hoffman. Seventh Heaven was published in the year of 1990. Seventh Heaven was a book based on life in the suburbs and the spiritual essence of the people who lived there. The author who wrote this story seemed to make the essence known that magical realism was definitely about these people and that they lived it everyday. Magical Realism lived everyday and will keep living as long as there is life on earth. Wendy B. Faris is an author that has written many stories. During the course of this story, things happened physically and magically that no one could explain


Magical Realism was first thought of within the years of 1870 and 1880 according to Ludwig Meidner. Over the years, many different authors have their own opinions of when magical realism began. Some of these are as Franz Roh, Irene Guenther, and Luis Leal. During the course of this story things that happened and physically and magically that no one could explain.


The magical elements in the story were so apparent. The houses were identical, the families got lost on the streets that they lived on, and they went into other peoples homes; thinking that they were in the right house. The smells of the berries cooking and the smell lingering even after the women had been gone for quite some time is another magical element. Then as soon as the house was sold and the house was occupied, the smell was gone. To have an odor, that had been there for so long seems unreal.


The realist element in the story was the teenager who was killed in a car wreck whom no one seemed to care about. The father seemed not to have any emotions and that situation is what life is like today. For example, a boy walking past the girls; home heard a dog barking and he asked the girls father; whose dog was barking. He said, "Oh it's just that damn girls of mines dog the damn thing won't shout up since she died and I put the damn thing outside for good." Realist elements seem to be real not imaginary or fantasy. The mother in the story seemed to be real, a hard working single mother of two children who was trying to make ends meet.

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"Making a living and raising her boys was all she wanted to do." This quote was taken right to the mind as magical realism. Trying to make a living is just magical by it self. Then having two children to raise by oneself is what a person would call the real magical realism.


The author had the right thought of the type of characters in the story. The way she described them and the things that they would do was very convincing to any reader. The attitudes of the characters were right with the story being told. The author had great expectations of what the story was all about and the magical realism that was in the story.


During the first couple of pages, the hesitation was there for the taking. The story did not make any since did it not even have a plot to follow. The uncertainty came after reading the parts of the story that had the smell of the jam and the crows throwing pebbles at any one who walked by the house where they were staying. So many questions, were going through the readers; mind as she read the story, such as what is going to happen next and is there going to be a love affair come in to the story. So many things that went through my mind as I read..


During the course of reading the story, I tried to figure out the purpose of the complete story and found that the only one that could be found was that of magical realism through out the story. The story was completely filled with magical feeling of essence in the air. The smells, the activities of the birds, the spirit in the air of the people in the neighborhood all shared the "real in the marvelous".


Magical realism lived every day and will keep living everyday as long as there is life on earth. The fact is magical realism is alive and well today as it was in the 1800's. The world depends on the stories being told, the excitement of the uncertainty, and the questions that go through their minds as people read books and watch movies. After reading all the material that has been suggested to read for this class, learning was a plus in my opinion. Magical realism is something that is all around us. We live with it everyday and don't even realize that it's among us as a living and breathing thing. To be honest, I feel that without the magical realism there would be nothing to the world today. There would be no imagination or fantasy or fairy tales. Every body has some magic in himself or herself people may not realize it but it's there. The whole world is made up of magical realism. With art and the novels is a big part of it; however there is so much more to it. A person just has to live it.



Works Cited

Faris, Wendy B. "Scheherazade's Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction". Magical Realism Theory, History, Community, 1995

Hoffman, Alice. Seventh Heaven New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, 1995

Roh, Franz. "Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism" Magical Realism. Theory. History, Community

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