Magical Realism and Man's Search For Meaning
Magical realism was first coined by Franz Roh when he was writing about paintings. Artaro Ulsar Pietri was the first to use the term when talking about literature. Magical realism is also related to other academic fields such as philosophy, psychology, mathmatics, physics, and theology. Im magical realism, "the writer confronts reality and tries to untangle it, to discover what is mysterious in things, in life, in human acts" (Leal 121). Viktor E. Frankl uses this concept in his book Man's Search For Meaning.
The magical realist characteristics that relate to this story include defamiliarization and supplementation. Through Man's Search For Meaning, Frankl explores "a reality which is already in and of itself magical or fantastic" (Simpkins 149). It tries to magnify and enlarge the small amd simple things in life. Defamiliariazation is used through human life (Simpkins 150). Defamiliarization is when an object that is common and everyday is shown in a new way that one never saw or noticed before. Supplementation is when reality is substituted "by heightening its distinctive elements through ideal imagination" (Simpkins 153).
Man's Search For Meaning is about a new type of therapy in psychology called logotherapy. Viktor Frankl noticed in concentration camps that certain people lived and others gave up and died. He found that those who found beauty in the small things were the ones who survived. He later called this fascination with the common a man's "will-to-meaning" (ix). One's "will-to-meaning" is the purpose and driving force for his or her life.
In Like Water For Chocolate, one can see how Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning has characteristics of magical realism. When Tita is forbidden to get married and do anything else but take care of her mother, her "healing beauty of nature" comes from cooking (x). Also, her love for Pedro despite her mother's threats was her "will-to-meaning" (ix). Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It" is similar to this literary example. As an abused...