Nov 28 2011

Response 5

Published by

John Rodriguez

Hispanic Literature

Professor Alvarez

21 November 2011

Magic Realism: Does it have to make sense?

Magical Realism consists of the combination of what is real and what is impossible. Alison Crawford’s Article, “Oh Yeah!: Family Guy as Magical Realism?”, suggest that there must be a meticulous precise and balance of both in Literature and film in order for the reader/viewer to remain in a perplexed world. How does Gabriel Garcia Marquez Magic Realism compare to this theory?

In Crawford’s Article, She gives the example of the cartoon series Family Guy. This show mostly consists of the average day lives of a middle class family in modern day America. This is the “Realism”, the first step to Magical Realism. During the shows, many unrealistic events ensue that be assumed to be the “Magic”, the second step to magical realism. Crawford argues that the magic part of Family Guy is disrupts the narrative enough that it removes the viewer from magic realism.

A perfect example of the comic non sequitur

occurs in the second-season episode “Holy

Crap.” This episode centers on Peter’s attempts

to get closer to his stridently Catholic

father, Francis Griffin, who believes Peter is

work-shy and resents him for marrying Lois, a

“Protestant whore.” All of Peter’s efforts have

failed, however, and he has even been fired

for his troubles. While sitting miserably at the

kitchen table wondering how to reconcile with

his father, he sees a news report on the television

about the Pope’s arrival in Quahog. At the

end of the report, Peter exclaims, “Hey, I just

got a crazy idea!” The viewer makes the logical

assumption that Peter has formulated a plan

to get closer to his father, inspired by the news

of the Pope’s visit. Instead, Peter clamps his

hand in a red-hot waffle maker. After screaming

in pain, he exclaims, “Hey, I just got another

crazy idea!” This is the plan that the viewer was

expecting all along: Peter will kidnap the Pope

and ask him to convince Francis of his son’s

worthiness.

There is a big difference between this logical

diversion and the narrative disruption of

magical realism, however. Family Guy ’s non

sequiturs can be even more dramatic, cutting

away from the main story to another place or

time, as the plot is interrupted and segues

into unrelated, self-contained sketches of variable

length.

Does it really make a difference? The viewer nonetheless understands what he/she is viewing is fiction so the dramatization of events do not affect the narrative entirely.

Marquez’s narrative, Eyes of a Blue Dog, occurs within the combined dream reality of the two main characters.  It seems like these two individuals posses a bizarre and complex passion for each other but are restricted from internal desires due to the fact that they only encounter each other during their unconscious state of minds. This frustration that both characters experience leaves the reader inquiring about the relationship between conscious and unconscious worlds. Although the entire narrative occurs within an artificial realm that consists of many ambiguous implications, Marquez uses numerous vivid “life-like” descriptions that portray human emotions, ultimately offering realness to this dream. It is made clear from the beginning that this story is in a dream and all of the unusual events that transpired at end did not change the effect of Magical Realism.

Works Cited

Crawford, Alison. “”Oh Yeah!”: Family Guy as Magical Realism.” Project MUSE. Johns Hopkins UP, 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_film_and_video/v061/61.2.crawford.html>.

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “Eyes of a Blue Dog.” Collected Stories. New York: Harper Collins Pub., 1999. Print.

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2 responses so far




2 Responses to “Response 5”

  1.   salvarezon 29 Nov 2011 at 4:04 pm

    John, what you quoted from the article was actually a quote from Family Guy. So actually, you basically lifted the I section of Crawford to use as an I for yourself. This does not work. What does she say about Magical Realism as a genre? How does she define it? Is it only restricted to literature? She brings in Family Guy, so there must be some connection between magican in that and how it gets represented in literature.

    You also shouldn’t have quoted any of the novels this round, and just focused on the article itself. I gave you partial credit, but you didn’t meet the assignment. Take a look at your classmate Rita’s blog for example

    http://rita06.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/response-5/

    Note how she gives two long quotes from the article, quotes that will help her later in her essay. Family Guy has nothing to do with Latin American or Latino Literature, I’m sorry to say. It portrays Latinos in a not so favorable fashion, however, but that’s another essay topic.

    2.5 out of 5 points.

  2.   maailmaon 11 Dec 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Magical Realism is a interesting genre because through it we accept the unimaginable in a realistic setting. Though at the same time sometimes the most realistic thing can be even more unimaginable. Here’s what I mean. http://i.imgur.com/8RZRb.jpg
    It’s a interesting idea that we can believe in magic but not in more real world things.

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