Magical Realism and Man’s Search for Meaning Magical Realism is the way in which a person views the world through a type of art. Magical realism deals with emotions, and it also discovers what is mysterious and meaningful in life. According to Franz Roh, in painting, is the way a person views the world through art (18, 20). Magical Realism has many characteristics that include many other ideas. Magical Realism can be observed in other subject areas, too, such as the logotherapy of Victor Frankl. Simpkins mentioned that “real life” is the “Real magic” (152). He also said that realism is heightened by magic (148-152). However, Leal felt that Magical Realism focuses on the marvelous in the real (122). Amaryll Chanady feels that Magical Realism is focused more toward reality (131). In Victor Frankl’s novel Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl discusses finding this magic in life in what he calls will-to-meaning. Frankl, a twentieth century psychiatrist, states that “life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual” (122). This concept is what he called will-to-meaning. Some forms of will-to-meaning are hunger, humiliation, fear, and deep anger at injustice (8). Some importance of will-to-meaning is that he had to find a sense of responsibility in his existence (9). One of the characteristics from will-to-meaning was finding responsibility. In the story Like Water for Chocolate, a magical realist story, a girl named Tita found her circumstances so awful that she found the meaning in her cooking and gave responsibility for life. She was always getting her heart broken because she loved a man named Pedro and could not be with him. Therefore, she learned to have a responsibility for cooking. She could have rebelled and left, but she knew that she had a responsibility to cook for her family and the man whom she loved. Tita found magic in her circumstances and viewed the mundane as beautiful helping her to live successfully in these terrible circumstances. Magical Realism can be observed in other subject areas, too, such as the logotherapy of Victor Frankl. Finding examples in other “real-world” fields of study helps in understanding Magical Realism as a world view and its relevance in our every day living. Just as Tita found magic and responsibility in what may have seemed mundane and not worth living , so we can find them in our circumstances. Works Cited Esquivel, Laura. Like Water fir Chocolate. New York: Doubleday, 1989. Frankl, Victor E. Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. Boston, Mass: Beacon Press, 1992. Roh, Franz. “Magical Realism: Post Expressionism.” Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durkham, N. C: Duke UP, 1995. 18, 20.
Magical and Realist Elements of Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Magical and Realist Elements of Like Water for Chocolate
The novel Like Water for Chocolate, published in 1989, was written by Laura Esquivel who is of Spanish heritage. She lives in Mexico, and Like Water for Chocolate was her first novel. I feel that in the story Laura Esquivel gives a lot of magical elements as well as some realist elements in order to evoke emotions about love.
While reading Like Water for Chocolate, I thought that how the girl named Tita was not allowed to marry the guy she loved and how she had to watch her sister marry him was interesting. However, I thought that the element was somewhat magical when she was making her sister Rosaura’s wedding cake, and at the same time, she was thinking of Pedro whom she is in love with and he is now marrying her sister. As she was thinking of him, she began to cry. As she was crying, a tear drop went into the cake, and they were afraid that it messed up the meringue. I have not baked much, especially using meringue, but I felt that part was a little magical to me.
On the other hand, I found the fact real that a person can be in love with somebody else while he or she is getting married. However, I am not sure if there are people out there who marry somebody just so they can be closer to their family member. The fact that her mom did not want Tita to get married was real because people can and do sometimes get upset when they do not want their child getting married. She showed a lot of emotions. Also, preparing for the wedding was a realist element. Many things appeared to be real. One does argue with family members, and daily events happened. Doing chores and cooking are obviously realist elements.
However, many realist elements are brought up. Havi…
… middle of paper …
…on will see magical as well as realistic elements. If one is interested in Like Water for Chocolate, there are many websites he or she can go to. There is plenty of information on Like Water for Chocolate.
Chanady, Amaryll. “The Territorialization of the Imaginary in Latin America: Self-Affirmation and Resistance to Metropolitan Pilgrims.” Magical Realism.
Theory, History, Community. Ed Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durkham, N. C: Duke UP, 1995: 125-141
Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. New York: Doubleday, 1989.
Love and Other Illegal Facts. Esquivel, Laura. October 1996. 19 Jan 2001. http://www.salon.com/oct96/interview961104.html
Smith, Joan. Laura Esquivel on “Like Water for Chocolate,” destiny and the thoughts of inanimate objects. The Interview Love and Other Illegal Acts. October 1996. 19 Jan 2001