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Magical Realism

Magical Realism in Literature Context

Before the rise of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, autocratic leadership, anarchy, and corruption characterized Latin America. The Latin American writer was profoundly influenced by the Spain colonial administration that controlled leadership within the Latin American countries. Gabriel Garcia Marquez exhibits skills in writing content dealing with mystery, wonder, oblivion, fascination, social tribulations, segregation, nostalgia, superstition, irony, and time. The paper will analyze the theme of magical realism significance and applicability of the theme based on the short story “Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Significance of Magical Realism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his short story “Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses” expresses the theme of magical realism by creating a mental picture of a boy who had died but came to visit his grave as a ghost because he was feeling lonely. Before death, the boy appeared to have some connections with people, but when he died only a girl who was his friend while they were young retained the friendship they had when he was alive. The theme of magical realism is prevalent among Latinos, and has associated death with normalcy, believing that love still prevails even when a person has died. The belief that love existed even after death is indicated in the fantasy by the boy who is portrayed believing that the girl he loved still demonstrated her love to him by visiting his grave and placing roses (Martin, G.).

When living, people promise to love each other as family and as friends but on an occurrence of death, those left behind tend to forget their promise to keep loving those who have died. The forgetting nature by those left by the diseased can be attributed to the lack of physical contact that was received to the person while they were still alive. The dead are depicted as spirits with the power to communicate with the living a theme called magical realism. Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates a mental picture when he says that the girl who cared for the deceased boy was now older and grown fatter and to give a picture of the time that had passed since the death of the boy. The magical realism is depicted where the boy is quoted saying “I can approach the roses… I’ll go to the knoll, lay them on the grave…” to show that the dead communicate with the living (Martin, G.).

Magical realism is also depicted in the story “A very old man with enormous wings” where an old man who had died is shown as an angel in a mental picture. The old man's appearance is however linked to pain and exploitation raising skepticism on whether he is a real angel and whether he can justify the belief in magical realism that the dead can communicate with the living. The picture of the old man in with rugged clothes helps to show the nature of human character when they are dealing with a stranger that support the magical realism that is characterized by mental fantasy in linking the world of the dead and that of the living. The mental picture of the old man as an angel relates with the visitation of the grave by the dead boy in the story of who has been disarranging the roses where they both show the way people tend to forget the dead and fail to continue loving them despite their demise (Martin, G.).

Applicability of Magical realism

Magical realism is applicable where the author tries to assume that a character that died a long time ago continues to live or is still in existence. It is assumed that when a person dies one is considered to have no more life and it is usually forgotten among the minds of the living. For the case of magical realism, the assumption is different, and the dead is living even many generations after their death and ought to be regularly remembered. The character is assumed to be living over many generations. In our case for our story "Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses" the boy who died forty years ago is said to be back to the living and is assumed to be the one rearranging the roses. The boy laments that no one whom he was close to cares about him and the people who he had these connections to no longer remember him or visit his grave (Martin, G.).

 This is the reason that he decides to lay the roses himself to his grave and he states, "I can approach the roses… I'll go to the knoll, lay them on the grave…" (Marquez). The ghost of the boy only remembers a girl who was his friend while was the one who seemed to be remembering the friendship with him. The remembrance of the friendship between the two only serves for the fantasies that the girl had and would now be seen to be in existence since the boy had died a long time ago. Per the boy, the only people who can remember the dead are those who are deceased since they are the same people who have solitude every day. For the case of this boy, the deceased are not the relatives but rather true friends like the girl who remained his friend after death. The girl claims to notice the presence of the boy by the weird signs of the lamp and the breeze that occurred. She believes were not just signs of nature, but it was the sign of the presence of the boy in the room who was yearning to place the roses in his grave since no one was attending to it (Martin, G.).

Death seems to take people far apart between the living and the dead which should not be the case. The dead people most of the time are not treated with dignity as they would be when they were alive. For this reason, their spirits which are alive and living among us, are at times saddened and frustrated, wanting to make their feelings known to humans.  Living people by making promises while burying the dead and failing to honor those promises will serve to provoke the spirits of the living. Since the magical realism applicability mostly manifests itself when people perceive the dead as though they are still together with the living, it will always be believed that the spirits and the ghosts of the dead are experiencing all this. It is the same magical realism that makes the girl believe that the boy was around disorganizing the roses to take them to the grave. This is because the boy felt abandoned by all the people he had interacted with in the world of the living (Martin, G.).

Work Cited

Martin, Gerald. The Cambridge Introduction to Gabriel García Márquez. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Marquez, Gabriel. Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses.

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