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Characteristics of Magical Realism in If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs

Characteristics of Magical Realism in If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs

“If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs” is a short story written by Colin McNaughton. “If Dinosaurs were Cats And Dogs” was published in 1981. It is classified under the fantastic sublime. However, based on the analysis of “If Dinosaurs were Cats And Dogs” one would believe that magical realism is a genre of the sublime.

While reading “If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs”, one comes upon the illustrations in the book. Through out all of the illustrations, the people are on a smaller scale then the animals. Scale is a sign of a sublime work. It creates a mood of nature being more important than humans or anything else for that matter. Scale, when used in sublime works, sets a universal or macroscopic tone.

I would confidently maintain that nothing contributes so decisively to the grand style as a noble emotion in the right setting, when it forces its way to the surface in a gust of frenzy, and breathes a kind of divine inspiration into the speaker’s words (Longinus 109). Longinus is explaining how a moment in a story line becomes clear to the reader out of a turbulent setting. It is considered by Longinus to be a perfect specimen of the sublime. In the short story “If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs”, many examples of the emotion force their way to the surface in an uncontrollable frenzy. A good example from “If Dinosaurs Were Cats And Dogs’ would be this excerpt: ” This snake is over ten miles long, which makes it very hard to steer. When people shout, “Look out! Look Out! Its head’s too far away to hear”(McNaughton 21). In the excerpt from the story, when it is explained that even though people are shouting for the snake to watch where it is going, the snake can’t hear because the it’s head is ten miles away. This is a brilliant examples of sublime literature.

Although “If Dinosaurs Were Cats and Dogs” is classified as fantastic sublime, the story has many examples of magical realism within its pages. The way in which the animals in the story are humungous is one of the many examples of magical realism. A parrot that is twenty-nine feet tall is extraordinary. Even more extraordinary is a snake that is ten miles long.

Elements of Magical Realism and Fantasy in The Donkey Prince

Elements of Magical Realism and Fantasy in The Donkey Prince

“The Donkey Prince” is a short story written by Angela Carter in 1970. Carter is an English novelist. Her story is a mixture of fantasy, myth, and magical realism. I do believe that fantastical literature and magical realism are related in a lot of ways. As I read through the magical realism and fantastical novels, I noticed more similarities than differences.

Briefly, the story I read was about a young prince being transformed into a donkey. It was one of the witchcraft stories where the young boy/girl had to retrieve a certain thing to be transformed back into his/her normal self. A role of magical realism was played as well as fantastical literature. “Bring out the apple,” said Terror. “I would give my name, my rank, and my reputation, as a warrior to possess even a quarter of your magic”(32). Magical Realism and fantastical literature are brought together by the fantasy of a young boy being transformed and the magic that would make that transformation happen.

The main character in this story is a donkey named Bruno. He played a magical role by being able to be a prince donkey. What was magical about the whole story was the people and creatures look at each other in different ways. As on earth, here in real life, people do not get the real magical idea of life.

This story gives a perfect example of what Faris says about John Updike’s statement ,”Magical realism combines realism and the fantastic in such a way that magical elements grow organically out of elements portrayed”(Faris 163). Some of the elements are the donkey prince, Wild Men mountain, birds that sang, and a magic apple. A person could get a realization of magical realism and fantastical literature even by reading a children’s story. Doing so takes an imagination in the adult life as well as the childs’. I think if a person does not involve the fantastic and the magical realism, the story is not as good.

The material that I read about fantastical literature stated that fantastic is portrayed as the indistinguishability between the real and the unreal. It has a preoccupation with style and an interest in transforming “the common and everyday into the awesome and the unreal”(Flores 114). This statement, to me, is a good comparison coming from two different views.

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