This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Fluidity Of Fantasy And Reality In The Magic Toyshop

2076 words - 9 pages

Tsung-Han Tsai
Write an essay of 1,800-2,000 words on one of the following topics.
Select one essay topic. Do not write about the Victorian poems and novels studied in Weeks 1-3.

5. Brian McHale has suggested that ‘among the oldest of the classical ontological themes in poetics is that of the otherness of the fictional world, its separation from the real world of experience’. In The Magic Toyshop we learn that ‘Melanie swam like a blind, earless fish in a sea of sedation, where there was no time or memory but only dreams’. Write an essay on Carter’s exploitation of the fluid boundary between reality and fantasy in the novel.

The Fluidity of Fantasy and Reality in The Magic Toyshop
After Finn explains Philip Flowers’ attempt to corrupt Melanie, she asks herself, “What if Uncle Philip of the iron fists is not my mother’s brother at all?” Here, she questions not only Uncle Philip, but also the integrity of the entirety of The Magic Toyshop. In doing so, Angela Carter highlights the boundary between reality, defined as “the quality of being real or having an actual existence,” and fantasy, defined as “a product of imagination, fiction, figment.” Throughout the novel, Carter explores the various, intertwined layers of reality and fantasy until the two become indistinguishable. First, Carter exposes multiple characters’ individual, frequently escapist, fantasies. Then, she presents collective reality and fantasy, exemplified by her metaphoric, uncanny prose and the fantastical world of Philip’s toyshop. Furthermore, she subverts the classic fairytale through grotesque, hyperbolic descriptions of Philip and allusions to the aforementioned fairytales and other works. By the end of the novel, both Melanie and the reader are unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Carter begins by juxtaposing reality with easily identifiable fantasy, often specific to individual characters. In the opening pages of the novel, Melanie admires her naked body and presents it for several imaginary men in self-described “fantasies,” (2). In this case, the boundary between reality and fantasy is distinct, identified by clear diction in the text. Similarly, Mrs. Rundle prays, “Please, God, let me remember that I was married as if I had really married,” acknowledging fantasy and reality as separate entities (8). Carter also writes, in reference to Melanie, her siblings, and Mrs. Rundle, “They had their own private worlds,” (29). Here, fantasy remains contained, individualistic, and separate. It draws on self-deception rather than otherworldly interference. At this point, the collective reality of the novel exists untainted by fantasy.
In her fluid prose, however, Carter blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality, and individual and collective perspectives. Her narrative freely shifts from Jonathon’s nautical escapist fantasies to Melanie’s inner ruminations (8). In this way, Carter fluidly travels between reality and fantasy, blending the two....

Find Another Essay On The Fluidity of Fantasy and Reality in The Magic Toyshop

Fantasy vs. Reality in Superman and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

2234 words - 9 pages Reality and Fantasy are often thought as two worlds which when collided create incredible stories of wonder and mystery. Why no other genre of literature is more popular than that of fantasy right now. Seventeen of the top twenty highest grossing movies in the Unites States and Canada last year were fantasies and of those the top six were based on books or comics (MPAA, 21). Fantasy allows for the unexplained to occur and creates a world

Fantasy and Reality Within Of Mice and Men and The Things They Carried by John Steinbeck

2139 words - 9 pages fantasy world. Of Mice and Men Lennie has a mental disability that causes him to hallucinate. In The Things They Carried, A special item carried or an event triggers a memory that they escape the reality of war and into a fantasy world. Irrationality vs. Superstitions Superstitions and irrationality are both considered a belief in something you cannot physically see. “Superstitions give people a sense of control in chaotic situations.” “A belief

Fantasy vs. Reality in Superman and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

3243 words - 13 pages , including their interactions with white Europeans, but less is known about how these two groups interacted with one another. Historians have noted that the first appearance of white Europeans only predated African slaves by around a decade. The first African slaves to arrive in the Americas came around 1502, and perhaps more significantly, the first record of slaves running away to Indian villages occurred in 1503. Using primary documents such as

Fantasy and Reality

1150 words - 5 pages FANTASY And REALITY DISTINCTION In matters of the spiritual and belief type, it is often very difficult to be sure of what fantasy is and what reality is. This difficulty can often lead the unwary astray in their pursuit of whom they are, and alternatively close another's mind off completely to the possibilities. Finding a balance in-between, of what is real and what isn't, is difficult but worth the effort in the end. Always remember, there

Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho

1363 words - 5 pages Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho In the ancient text The Descent of Innana and the lyric poetry of Sappho, language is viewed as magic. Not only are the words themselves acting as magic, as in an invocation, but other things manifest themselves as magic throughout the works. The most common throughout the works of Sappho is that of love. Sappho also shows us the magic of everyday life in many of her poems. Finally, the writing

The Fantasy of Orality in Absalom, Absalom!

3062 words - 12 pages Porter makes clear, does it simply evade the problem of unknowability with an oversimplified "appeal to imagination's superiority over reality" (57). Instead, it offers an alternative view of the process of narrative, within which it implies a dynamic substitute for the communication of facts. In order to understand this alternative conception it is necessary to understand the importance of the orality and aurality of telling and listening in the

The Circle of Fantasy

774 words - 4 pages drama never happened to her, for example the lost of Belle Reve; furthermore, Williams shows that people should enforce reality on those who live in fantasy. Blanche is in a circle of fantasy, because she had a lot of tragedy in her life which made her choose to live in fantasy in order to escape from bad reality. She first fell in love with her husband Allan and she says that: “intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my

Magic and Superstition in the Middle Ages

3500 words - 14 pages human being” (McGinn 33). Following this impactful clarification, many changes occurred in Christian spirituality. Ancient Christianity was evolving into a new ‘Medieval Christianity’. With those changes came the birth of many interesting, sometimes bizarre, superstitions which would affect the lives of many and even contribute to the modification of other religions. Around 1141AD, Hugh of Saint Victor would claim that “Magic was not accepted as a

The Elements of Fantasy and Horror

1591 words - 6 pages The elements of fantasy and horror blend together perfectly to create an unforgettable series of events. An example of dark fantasy is Something Wicked This Way Comes, the novel by Ray Bradbury that tells the story of two young boys, Jim and Will, who discover the secret of a mysterious traveling carnival. The magical carnival has many temptations, including a frightening mirror maze and a carousel that changes one’s age. However, its allure

The Stream Of Consiousness: Daydreaming and Fantasy

998 words - 4 pages been said that daydreams and fantasies can interfere with your memory. If you keep daydreaming about the same thing over and over again soon you’ll start to believe that it actually happened. Then your memory of what “actually” happened will go away. “Daydreams are to keep your life’s agenda in front of you.” Daydreams aren’t supposed to take over your life and change reality and what happened. The past is the past, daydreams can help you cope with

Magic in the Tempest

715 words - 3 pages The Tempest, written in 1611, was one of William Shakespeare's last plays. It has a combination of superb characters, interesting settings, and a good plot line--all held together by the running theme of magic, and its ever-present importance. A closer examination of the magic in The Tempest, and the public's view of magic at the time, will give insight as to Shakespeare's choice of magic as a theme, and why it has made the play so successful

Similar Essays

Discuss The Effects, And Dangers, Of A Powerful Imagination In The Turn Of The Screw And The Magic Toyshop

1824 words - 7 pages The novels The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, and The Magic Toyshop, by Angela Carter both possess a great deal of fantasy on the behalf of the characters. This mainly features in the protagonists of Melanie in The Magic Toyshop and the governess in The Turn of the Screw. By examining the role of these main characters and those around them, the effects and dangers of strong character imagination will be exposed.“So long as the events

The Fluidity Of Oats Essay

1148 words - 5 pages have favored the oat weed part, resulting in its ultimate domestication. According to Healthy Oats Food Magazine, “Oats is a cereal plant cultivated primarily in cool climate and widely used for animal feed additionally as human consumption. Healthful functions involves a use of oat, that shield against cancers and cardiovascular disease, enhance reaction to infection, stabilize glucose, and etc.” Oats are around for quite a while, qualitative

Discuss The Impact Of The Past Upon The Present In Both "Persuasion" By Jane Austen And "The Magic Toyshop" By Angela Carter, From The Point Of View Of Both Characterisation And Plot

2579 words - 10 pages In both Persuasion by Jane Austen and Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop, the past has significance both in terms of characterisation and of plot.Persuasion focuses on a renewal of an old love between the main character, Anne Elliot, and Captain Frederick Wentworth. Eight years before Anne accepted a marriage proposal from Wentworth thinking of nothing but her love for him. However, she is persuaded by her friend and mentor not to marry him, her

The Fine Line Between Fantasy And Reality

1211 words - 5 pages the reader to overlook the indication. Despite the vivid nature of the fantasy, as real as it seems, Farquhar's death is inevitable. The strong blends of reality and fiction create a grand story. In Part Three, the narrative takes over from the end of Part One. Bierce uses hints to explain the extreme conditions of Farquhar's situation. Bierce warns the reader by comments like " it seemed to him...(Gioia 110)" that Farquhar is no longer