Teacher’s Corner

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The Realm of Magical Realism

Hey you guys! Yes, I said that in my Sloth, from The Goonies, voice. What’s been going on in your part of the world teach peeps? Well, let me tell you about what’s been going on over here. As, you guys probably remember from the previous week I had some sick kiddos, well, no sooner had they made their first day back to school; school goes virtual. Looks like we will be staying this way until after Thanksgiving. The world is a crazy place right now and all we can do is just hunker down, pray and practice smart safety measures. What’s your situations looking like right now?

So, this week we went over Magical Realism in Latin American Literature. This has probably been my favorite topic thus far. I think that the main theme I felt was the most prevalent in this magical realm was the power of choice and it’s inevitable effect on all of our lives. The power of choice is certainly a topic that all young adults (and teachers) can relate to, especially the students. They are coming into adulthood and are faced with having to make so many new choices, especially in social settings. So, this lesson plan could definitely speak to them on a personal level. As the works in this lesson plan are packed to the gills in magical influence it may even help them realize that there is magic to be found even in the hardest of decisions and the darkest of moments; and that all choices should be made in respect and reverance.

In Death Constant Beyond Love, Marquez gives multiple excellent examples of magical realism in his writing. From paper butterflies fluttering about, to a beautiful rose casting entire rooms in it’s shadow and unmerciful fates. Marquez gives a beautiful story about a dying senator and the enchanting and haunting beauty of the otherworldly Laura Farina. Senator Sanchez must do whatever it takes to have her before he dies. His death “made the decision for him”. A beautiful example of his magical realisim, ““Laura Farina tried to say something, but there was only enough air for her to breathe. He laid her down beside him to help her, he put out the light and the room was in the shadow of the rose. She abandoned herself to the mercies of her fate” (Marquez, 2012).

In Of Clay are We Created, Allende uses magical realism to convey the power of choosing to be kind and loyal even in the bleakest of times. The story is told from Rolfe’s girlfriends’ point of view as she lays witness to her well renowned news reporter boyfriend, report from a massive volcano explosion and the havoc that it caused. Rolfe stumbles upon Azucena, trapped in a mire of volcanic waste and mire; buried up to her head. For a few days Rolfe stays with her waiting for a pump to help her out of the quicksand mire, they exchange stories about their lives and they grow closely, he stays because at the end of someone’s life, they do not deserve to die alone. That Is for sure. ““I watched as he leaned down to kiss her poor forehead, consumed by a sweet, sad emotion he could not name. I felt how in that instant both were saved from despair, how they were freed from the clay, how they rose above the vultures and helicopters, how together they flew above the vast swamp of corruption and laments. How, finally, they were able to accept death” (Allende, 2012). Choices in life can save us, save others and help us move past our own despairs or they have the capacity to punish us and throw us into a state of irrevocable misery as Allende proves.

Pop Culture time! And for the second week in a row.. it’s not Disney! A great movie that mixes real and magical elements, it is a little gorey… ok, gratutitiously gorey.. and demonstrates the power of choice is Pan’s Labryinth. It IS in Spainish and you have to watch it in subtitles but it is an excellent example of Latin American Magical Realism and it highlights the power of choice. It is Set in Spain during World War II. This is the story of a young girl named Ofelia. She is a girl who has a passion for fairy tales, which causes her to see one during her trip on the forest that is not quiet. She goes to her stepfather’s home in the country along with her pregnant but sickly mother, he is the sadistic Captain Vidal. Ofelia creates an imaginary world of her own to escape the cruel and harsh realities of the world. When she encounters a faun, she must complete three tasks in order to obtain immortality according to the legend of a princess. (IMDB, 2006).https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457430/?ref_=adv_li_tt.

Ofelia must make choices in this story and they all carry an otherworldly weight. This is a story that combines real and magical realms and stays true to this weeks theme and this highlights our theme for the the week wondrously!

Well, that’s all I have for you guys this week, stay strong, stay kind and stay safe <3! Tune in next week to see what I cook up! And remember, “you are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice”.

XOXO,

Britt

Sources:

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – IMDb

Gabriel-Marquez, Gabriel. “Death Constant Beyond Love” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Third Edition – Shorter Vol. F. Edited by Martin Puchner. W. W. Norton & Company, 2012, pp. 992.

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