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Realism, Naturalism and Magical Realism in American Literature

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother

The whole story that is written by Gabriel Garcia Marcia Marquiz is a very interesting one that embraces three concepts, that is realism, naturalism, and magical realism.

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Erendira who was fourteen years old was living with her grandmother. She set their home one day on fire. The fire was only a mishap. Her grandmother forced her to settle up all the debts by forcing her to become a prostitute. Surprisingly, men were lining up to get attended by her. In this way, Marquez is trying to show us how sometimes real life’s realities usually force someone to do some things out of the will. This is especially when some situations call for a desperate measure as in the case of Erendira who had to become a prostitute to pay off the debts. After some years, she fell in love with Ulises who was once her client. Ulises decided to help her out (Levine, 5). Marquez brings out the realities through Eva’s desperation since she has to pay the debts through prostitution.


The girl was in s state of despair which had forced her to become a prostitute. She could not afford to pay off the debts after having burnt the house accidentally. Erendira’s desperate condition forced her to plot to kill her grandmother so that she could escape from the bad condition. Ulises gave her a hand in killing her grandmother. Marquez develops the character Erendira as a ruthless individual who has been turned from that way by her grandmother. The story shows the economic hardship that Erendria was facing (Marquez, 1).

Magical realism

Gabriel Garcia brings out magical realism so well in his story. The author portrays the wind as having the power to swallow a human being. Erendaria was swallowed in the wind’s shadows and inside the shadows, an owl was calling her. In the story, there was a woman who had turned into a spider after disobeying her parents which indeed is a mysterious thing that wouldn’t happen in reality. Ulises and Erendira communicate through an inner voice. We find in the story Erendira calling Ulises in the inner voice and he wakes up. When he prepares to leave, his father he sees his father in the moonlight (Pelayo, 1).

Eva Inside Her Cat


In this story, Gabriel Garcia Marquez depicts Eva as a very beautiful girl that every man admired. Women usually dream of attaining physical beauty and they can do everything to make sure that they are given the required attention. However, in this story, Marquez tries to explore the other side of beauty which can be a burden as well as a disadvantage to women. The main character that is Eva always dreams of becoming a normal lady. She is usually troubled by men’s look whenever she passes by as well as her own father’s sensual cupidity. The story strongly shows us that in as much as beauty is admired; to some extent, it can also cause distress. This went as far as contemplating suicide which she did (Pelayo, 1).


Marquez depicted Eva’s condition as a psychotic trance of Eva’s extinction. Whereas many women would have wanted to be admired like Eva, she was discontented by beauty. Her relief would be death. Eventually, Eva killed herself. Eva committed suicide by taking a rat poison. Marquez describes Eva as having suffered from psychosis which caused her to contemplate suicide. Eva ultimately suffered from Insomnia. The most interesting thing is that Eva sees her infections that were coursing through her blood’s circulation and they seemed to devour the personality in her. Marquez wants to depict the fact that even if beauty is something everyone admires, some conditions that revolve around it may cause individuals wary. No one knew that Eva was being distressed by her beauty. Her story is told when she dies (Pelayo, 1).

Magical realism

When Eva died, she was left to determine her plight. One mortal sin that Eva committed was committing suicide. Surprisingly and magically, death only takes away her flesh. Her body emotions as well as curses of her beauty persisted even after her demise. After her death, she savors an orange. Something mysterious happens in the story because a young man that Eva loved was buried under an orange tree. The circumstances that led to his demise are not well understood, it could be that he was killed as he tried to pillage Eva’s beauty. Marquez does not reveal to us what happened. The young man’s body decayed and it nourished the soil. The orange tree became beneficially. The orange could be seen blossoming and it was used to make a bridal bouquet. However, any potential marriage was terminated. It seemed like the tree symbolized the eternal continuance of the young man. His ghost seemed to have been apparent in the fruits as well as in the flowers. Perhaps the boy had become the spirit that was inside the fruit which was forbidden (Marquez, 1).

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In a nutshell, Eva’s predicament seems to be unfair as depicted by Marquez. She was born being extremely cute. She recognized that her beauty would be taken away by infections. This situation was dreadful to Eva. Her loveliness later faded away. Her soul later transgressed and she became a mere plastic. Magical realism is brought out so well when we are told how she found herself bodiless and she was just floating. Having changed to an amorphous dot with no direction, she felt that she had entered another world. Surprisingly, she transmigrated into a cat. All this has portrayed Marquez’s magical realism work. The story’s ending does not have overt storyline ingenuity. The particular power’s of the story comes various amazing details.

Big Fish

This movie is among those that clearly depict three realm of creativity. The author tries to portray the realities as well as fantasies.


Edward Bloom was a former traveling sales man and he hailed from Southern parts of the United States. He was confined to death bed when his son came to him to restore their relationship. The theme of the movie was reconciliation after the son had had a broken relationship with his father. It is surprising how the movie portrays realism especially concerning the circumstances that had led their relationship sour. It all started during his wedding. Edward told a story about Will having been born catching a huge uncatchable fish, a situation which was difficult for Will to explain to his wife Josephine. Edward and his son stayed for three years without talking to each other. His realities of life are portrayed when the son had to return to mend their relationship before his father died. This shows that the strong bond between father and son is usually strong despite the differences that could be between them. Realism is also depicted in the fact that his son was confused because he didn’t know the truth about his father. He did not know that his father was only a storyteller (MacLean, 1).


Edward was hoaxed by ringmaster Amos Calloway that he would learn something new each month concerning the girl that he had fallen in love. He therefore works without pay in the hope that he would achieve what he is promised. Later, he was told her name and where she was in school. Edward bears with the situation besides being hoaxed all along. This depicts naturalism in the story. After his return from Korean War, Edward was unable to find job since he had been declared dead by the military and he could not contact his family before his return. This also depicts naturalism in the story.

Magical realism

Finney portrays supernatural powers in Edwards’s tale about how he met a braved swamp as well as having met a witch who showed him how he would die through a glass eye. Finney depicts magical realism when Edward tells his son about how he had grown fast, became a successful sports player and set off as a giant Karl which was misunderstood. When he had died, he was carried to the river and he becomes a big fish. Magical realism is depicted through Edward’s character as a witch, giant, mermaid and as a werewolf. Various places also have been portrayed as archetypes, for instance, the circus, mythological city and the small towns (MacLean, 1).

Works Cited

Levine, George. The Realistic Imagination: English fiction from Frankenstein to Lady Chatterly. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981ю

MacLean, Lynda D. Big Fish. Web.

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Marquez Gabriel Garcia. Eva is Inside Her Cat. Web.

Pelayo Ruben Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Shaw, Harry E. Narrating Reality. Austen, Scott, Eliot. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1999.

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