Magic Realism Essay

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Expressing History and Society through Magic Realism Techniques Magic realism is related to but different from surrealism. Both of them use imagination, along with fairy tales, and legends to create mythological setting and plot. However, in magic realism, the imagination is based on reality. In Alejo Carpentier’s “the kingdom of this world”, characters, events, plot that author created mostly can find in Haiti’s history. Gerald Martin (1989) point out, “Magic realism is a different approach to looking at thing”. Carpentier looked at Haiti’s history and national identity form the view of a magic world. He used magic realism techniques such as metamorphoses, fairy tales, supernatural beings, and image to describe revolutions of black slaves that happened in Haiti. These techniques extend the influence of historical events, figure and express the ethnic culture Gerald Martin (1995) wrote, “When the writer use the technique of magical realism, he try to give magic the status of reality.” since the novel of magic realism is based on the real history, the magic realism techniques such as metamorphosis and image extend the influence of historical figures —“Macandal”. “The kingdom of this world” is divided into four parts. Four parts depicting four revolutions. In first the part, Macandal is the main character. He led the first revolt of black slave but sacrificed himself in the end. Macandal’s force of personality, the charm and the charisma of Macandal are extended by techniques of magic realism. To be specific, Firstly, Macandal is not a character the author created with imagination. A research of Mark Davis (1997) shows that in real Haitian history, Macandal is a historical figure. “Macandal lived during the 18th century when the mid-Atlantic slave trade was at its peak. He led an uprising on the French Colony of St. Domingue (now Haiti and the Dominican
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