Feb 6, 2020 in Analysis

Gabriel Garcia Merguez


To start with, it has to be stated that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the writer, whose works are associated with the application of magical realism. This writer is generally perceived as a major figure of magic realism. The elements of magical realism are presuppose the relation between the individual and community. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has altered the landscape of modern fiction by introducing the elements of magical realism, which shape the reader’s perception of the work and make it more enjoyable and thrilling for the readers. His works “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” and “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” are the works, which manifest the ability of Garcia Marquez to related the mundane everyday life details towards the elements of magic realism.

At first, the detailed explanation of magical realism has to be conducted. It could be explained as the genre, which efficiently unites the aesthetics of realism with the magical elements. It stands between the rational and irrational. It could be perceived as particular literary device, which combines the invisible sources, which affect human perception of the world with dreams, legends, myths, etc. This genre is completely different from realism and surrealism. It aims at portraying the life from the completely new perspective. The surrealism destroys the reality and magic realism aims at creating new reality. Magic realism is often attracts the readers, as it presupposes the interrelation of bizarre and purely ordinary events with the depiction of the everyday life activities. This genre cannot be treated as fantasy, as it includes not the imaginary and magic elements only. Its peculiarity lies in fixing reality and magic. Magical realism shifts against the traditional definitions.


The work “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is one of the manifestations of application the genre of magical realism on practice. It illustrates human tendency and desire to create myths.  The work reveals the target audience the themes of myth and its perception by people and the theme of beauty.  The motif of the story is the simultaneous connection of the readers towards ordinary and extraordinary, alive and dead. Author appealed towards human unconsciousness. The theme of myth is represented by the desire of the villagers to create the myths about the drowned man. His appearance inspires the inhabitants to produce some crazy stories. Using this story, the author tried to portray the readers the fact that myths center around the heroic figures. Esteban, the drowned man, has become such an individual, who was perceived as a hero. One could state that the dead body on the shore has nothing to do with magic. However, here lies the specific feature of magical realism, Marquez applied this story and added it fabulous connotations through the reaction of villagers towards it. Appearance of dead body has become the push towards extraordinary productions of human imagination. The theme of beauty also includes the connotations of magic. Esteban represents the creature, which stands in contrast with the canons of beauty. His outer appearance seems to be magical for the villagers, as he is different from the ordinary masses. In such a way, the author united the theme of beauty, life and death. Death provided Esteban with additional extraordinary features, which added the work the traits of magic.

Another story under analysis is the work “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. It resembles the previous story and depicts the arrival into the town alive man with wings. The author demands the active participation of the readers in this work. In this story, as well as in previous the theme of human myth and theme of outer appearance play the central role. For instance, the people, who have found the old man in the ma, perceive him to be an angel, judging from their cognitive abilities. They create a myth towards themselves, and aim at preserving the angel. At first, people keep the newly found “angel” in the chicken coop, and with the course of time, he flies away from the. The theme of outer appearance also plays the central role in this work. Wings are the part of magical realism. It is the extraordinary feature, which differentiates the man from masses and makes him unique. Wings are the fantastic element, but the fact that the man, who is connected to them is old and ordinary, unites realism with magic. It becomes the myth of different features. The motif of this story is showing the perception of human of the magical creature. Author created the contrast between the reality and miracle. When people saw an angel, they thought that touching the angel or rubbing his feathers will bring them ailments. Author tried to show the trivial occurrence of the supernatural forces. 

Marquez magical elements portray how myths and fantasies are created. However, the difference lies in the fact that Merguez applied the pragmatic side of the issue. He aimed at showing the truth of human nature. This element is often overseen in myths and tales. 

These two stories are united by one mutual feature. In both works, the appearance of extraordinary individual resulted in creation of myths and imaginary stories. When people meet something, which is different from their traditional world, they start using its difference in order to feel the gap in their consciousness. Moreover, people start applying this person in the way, they understand it. 

In conclusion, it has to be admitted that Gabriel Garcia Marguez is a genius, as he managed to unite magical and real elements in a maximally realistic way. With the course of reading, people start perceiving the extraordinary element as part of mundane life and start perceiving it not as fantasy, but as exception from the general rules. Magical realism assisted the author to portray people from the completely new perspective, and describe the flaws of human nature in a maximally realistic way. The works under analysis are extremely though provoking and make the target audience consider the existence of magic and real life from the new angle. 

Process Letter

Working on this essay was not difficult, as the works by Gabriel Garcia Merguez are extremely interesting. The challenge was to understand how he tied magical realism and mundane life representation. In order to overcome this hardship, the essence of magical realism was investigated. It was necessary to differentiate it from postmodernism, surrealism, and realism and understand what features make it completely different from others. After it, the task was to read the provided novels and find the elements of magical realims. It should be noted that author masterfully hided them into the life realities. Especially difficult it was to reveal the magical realism elements in the work “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”. At first sight, the story does not include any extraordinary features. However, accurate reading showed that there were certain traits, which demanded close analysis. Major success of this research turned out to be the final version of the essay, which revealed all the features and conducted the detailed analysis of the works under research. In general, the process of literary investigation turned out to be the exciting and thrilling adventure though the literary world, which revealed me a number of new ideas and made me change my attitude towards particular issues.  


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