Supernatural Elements in Like Water for Chocolate and the House of the Spirits
A supernatural event is an event which, according to the laws of nature, cannot happen. In the two works that I have studied “Like water for chocolate” by Laura esquivel and “The house of the spirits” by Isabel allende, magic realism has been used as a common literary device to give the book a fantasy-like twist, making it very interesting and engaging.
Magic realism stretches the boundaries of realism in order to stretch or widen the definition of reality. In Like Water for Chocolate, magic becomes ordinary, admitted, accepted and integrated into the rationality and materiality of literary realism. The first instance of magic realism in Like Water for Chocolate is Tita’s entry into the world, “Tita was literally washed into this world on
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Allende’s world is populated with such wondrous characters, events and humor. On the flip side, deaths are gruesome; for example Nívea’s (Clara’s mother) death, foreseen in a dream by Clara, and the madcap search for her head. Only Clara the clairvoyant can track it down days later even though she is heavily pregnant. Ghosts abound in literature of Magical Realism, as in the old folk tales. In Isabel Allende’s House of Spirits, the ghost of the Esteban’s sister, Férula, came into the dining room, after having been thrown from the house six years before, kissed her beloved sister-in-law, Clara, and then disappeared. Clara declared that she knew she was dead that very instant. They found her, old and alone on her deathbed in a bare city apartment. At the end of the book, when her granddaughter Alba, was a political prisoner and was being tortured, and decided “end this torture once and for all”, Clara’s spirit returned to aid her. Many of the characters possess eccentric characteristics. However, all of the eccentricities lie just on the border of what is believable. Furthermore, the characters in the novel are aware of the strange qualities of their actions and beliefs, yet they take them in stride. This in turn makes them more believable. All of the eccentric or magical elements of the story are described in simple sentences