Magical Realism in Children's Literature Essay

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Terri R. Craig English 3320-3B Bardenhagen Week 4 Mid-Term Questions Mid-Term - Prompt One Magical realism, the blending of real with fantasy or magic, is an excellent way to capture the imagination of the reader. When magical realism is combined with the ability to create verisimilitude, the protagonist (quite literally) along with the reader (subconsciously) are easily transported from the real world to the more surreal. Verisimilitude can be achieved in several ways; one of the most effective is through the inclusion of the society’s prevalent ideology. “Works that achieve verisimilitude seem believable to the reader…because they…accord with conventions that enable the suspension of disbelief.” (week 4, Lecture, p. 1) “Ideology governs our perceptions, judgments, and prejudices – our sense of what is acceptable, normal and deviant.” (Week One, Lecture, p. 1) These definitions would support the belief that if an author goes against the ideological beliefs of the reader, he/she runs the risk of never establishing a credibility to draw the reader’s imagination into their world at all. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beauty and the Beast and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland all contain excellent examples of magical realism throughout their texts. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the chocolate factory is in a real-world setting and on the outside it appears to be a normal factory. However, on the inside, it is filled with magical rooms, an underground chocolate river and inventions that are quite fantastic but go unquestioned as real by Charlie and the reader. “The place was like a gigantic rabbit warren, with passages leading this way and that in every direction.” (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, p. 65) Beauty and the Beast starts out in a real world setting describing a family and its members’ normal struggles. The father encounters
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