Latin American Literature: Realism and Magical Realism


Picture Magical Realism right now. I never took much interest in magical realism, except in a few tv shows, such as Game of Thrones, True Blood and the Vampire Diaries. These shows depict reality past (literally centuries ago and in a fictional world but very Earth-like) and present with a magical spin. For example, Game of Thrones is very realistic but has the occasional dragon or “Night Walker”. Vampire Diaries and True Blood both have realistic depictions of the world but with vampires that try to live as humans. True Blood is especially important to point out with so much symbolism for the persecutions of minorities and gays today. Note: None of these shows are suitable to show as examples to students in high school, though you may can get away with the mention of them, be sure to clear it with administration beforehand.  Symbolism is the real theme of Latin American Literature from this week’s selections. The symbolism here also accompanies lessons of the stories which are the choices we make and the inevitability of consequence and responsibility.
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In regards to teaching this literature to students, it may be beneficial to brush up on the differences between fables, folklore, fairy tales, etc. and then give a thorough definition of magical realism. See if the students have any popular cultural knowledge that incorporates the magical realism and work off of those, point out the subtleties in the differences between magical realism and fantasy.  Worksheets for cheap can be downloaded from here:

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