Magical Realism In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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What is the impact of magical realism in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon? Magical realism is used to combine elements of the fantastic and reality, making either the characters or the setting marvelous or uncanny. Magical realism grew out of Latin American writing and art. Although it was a huge part of Latin American culture, magical realism spread globally and can now be found in stories around the world. In Tzvetan Todorov's book The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, Todorov explores the fantastic in magical realism, and he describes it as something that is a part of a reality that is controlled by the unknown. In Toni Morrison's novel, she uses magical realism as a way to show how characters perceive certain situations.…show more content…
When the fantastic is actually resolved, which is rarely done in Morrison's novel, it can either become uncanny or marvelous. When it is uncanny, the situation seems darker and shocking. This gives the readers the idea that characters are feeling uneasy and the situation is disturbing or extraordinary. If it is marvelous, the magic seems more natural and it is accepted that there is something supernatural. Milkman describes to Guitar a moment in which tulips had grown over his mother, a moment he describes as a dream even though the reader is given the knowledge that it was not actually a dream. Milkman describes the scene in which he was watching his mother through the window planting tulips, and they began to grow instantly, "[t]he tubes were getting taller and taller and soon there were so many of them they were pressing up against each other and up against his mother's dress" (Morrison, 105). Morrison uses imagery to show how disturbing this scene is, and she describes the tulips as having "bloody red heads that bobbed and touched [Ruth's] back" (Morrison, 105). When Ruth finally notices the flowers, she does not seem surprised. She playfully hits at them, even though "[t]hey were smothering her, taking away her breath with their soft jagged lips. And she merely smiled and fought them off as though they were harmless butterflies" (Morrison, 105). After this description, Milkman says that "[h]e knew they were dangerous, that they would soon suck up all the air around her and leave her limp on the ground. But she didn't seem to guess this at all. Eventually they covered her and all he could see was a mound of tangled tulips bent low over her body, which was kicking to the last" (Morrison, 105). After this description, Morrison shows Guitar and

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