Magical Realism in PP

By: Anand Pant

Student Engagement

What makes magic magical?

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:22-33

If "supernatural" occurrences lose the fantastical element through repetition, and assuming they are all relative and adhere to basic categorical limitations, are there any examples in your lives or history through which the fantastical became less so?

Dog's first snow


Magical Realism: a genre where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic (often mundane) environment.

Presence in the novel:

  • Extremely well incorporated
  • Inseparable blend
  • Founded in death, life, time, and space.

Quote #1 (death, life, and space)

"'My mother?" I said. "My mother is dead." "So that was why her voice sounded so weak, like it had to travel a long distance to get here. Now I understand. And when did she die?" "A week ago"' (Rulfo 5).

Quote #2 (life, death)

“The town is filled with echoes. It’s like they were trapped behind the walls, or beneath the cobblestones” (Rulfo 22).

Quote #3, #4 (life, death)

"We walked side by side, so close our shoulders were nearly touching" (Rulfo 2).

"Then it can't have been him. Besides, Abundio died. I'm sure he's dead. So you see? It

couldn't have been him" (Rulfo 8).

Quote #5 (space)

"The road rose and fell. It rises or falls depending on whether you're coming or going. If you

are leaving, it's uphill; but as you arrive it's downhill" (Rulfo 1).

Quote #6, #7 (time)

"The one sure thing is that he threw everyone off his land and sat himself down in his chair to stare down that road" (Rulfo 45).

"Don Pedro spoke to no one. He never left his room. He swore to wreak vengeance on Comala: "I will cross my arms and Comala will die of hunger." And that was what

happened" (Rulfo 65).

Quote #8 (life, death)

'"What was that I just heard, dona Eduviges?"

She shook her head as if waking from a dream.

"That’s Miguel Paramo's horse, galloping down the road to the Media Luna"?"

"Then someone's living there?"

"No, no one's living there"' (Rulfo 11).

Literary Criticism

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Pedro Páramo": A Parallel

Suzanne Jill Levine

Books Abroad, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Summer, 1973), pp. 490-495

Published by: University of Oklahoma

Article DOI: 10.2307/40127323

Article Stable URL:

Being twentieth-century writers they interpret reality as a subjective, illusory and therefore magical phenomenon. In different ways they both methodically tamper with time, reality's measuring stick, thus disrupting and finally mythifying that very reality. There are many schemes through which the reader could link One Hundred Years of Solitude to Pedro Paramo.


Salvador Dali- Persistence of Memory (Parody)


  • Collapse of a fixed cosmetic order
  • Surrealist
  • Dead/sleeping man
Big image

Take Away

  • Point out the place in the novel, where magical elements are portrayed.
  • Relation to initial activity.
  • Relativity of the circumstance to the novel.


  1. After learning that Juan is dead, does that make communication with the dead less magical? Or is it relative to the reader?
  2. Are there other categories to which you would assign the fantastical elements in the book? (not life, death, time, space)
  3. Does the incorporation of these elements discredit the novel, and or create emotional separation from the characters.
  4. Is there a value to not writing the work in a logical linear manner?
  5. Is the portrayal of form a jibe in the face of Mexican traditional ways? An illustration of reality?
  6. Do dreams illustrate inherent desires, or is your conscious self your identity?
  7. Are distortions in reality more significant than distortions in character or perception? Are they the same, a product of each other...?