Magical Realism In Tim Burton's Life

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Magical Realism Defined
Magical Realism refers to a genre of literature involving a surreal storyline that is elaborately romanticized, but balanced out with a real world writing style in order to keep the reader engaged. It is often written with the intent of conveying a certain message or feeling to the reader. This effect is created through both vivid, complex detail and dreamlike subject matter. In Big Fish, written by Tim Burton, the storytelling father figure incorporates these elements of detail and surrealism to tell the story of his life in such an elaborate and fantastical fashion that in the end the stories become the accepted reality. It was his combination of lifelike detail and dreamlike content that made his life story so thought-provoking.
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The angelic subject of this tale finally figures out how to fly away in the end of the story, which though bittersweet, is a great deal more optimistic of an an ending than the mass drowning of an entire class of children. Its narrative style is more realistic, and the author includes instances of vivid, naturalistic detail, such as stating “He was lying in a corner drying his open wings in the sunlight among the fruit peels and breakfast leftovers that the early risers had thrown him,” when describing the winged man. (7) This depiction feels harsh and unadulterated, such is the style of a Magical Realism literary piece. Even the wings seem incredibly lifelike in this description, as a result of Marquez’s deadpan delivery. Another instance is when Marquez describes the chicken coop, saying that “If they washed it down with creolin and burned tears of myrrh inside it every so often, it was not in homage to the angel but to drive away the dungheap stench that still hung everywhere like a ghost and was turning the new house into an old one.” (10) There is nothing romanticized about this portrayal. Such is the quality of Magical Realism; it contrasts romantic, enchanting subject matter with a natural, pragmatic writing
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