Is Hawthorne's Fiction Magical Realism? Analytical Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Is Hawthorne's Fiction Magical Realism?
This paper explores whether Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction fits into the classification of magical realism.
# 119942 | 2,590 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on May 30, 2010 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Latin-American Studies (General)

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The paper first provides an overview of the style of writing known as magical realism. The paper then closely examines Nathaniel Hawthorne's works and shows how while they have moments of magical realism, they fail to consistently work in this mode, where the supernatural is just as valid as the rational. The paper explains the style of magical realists of Latin America, and explains why if circumstances were different, perhaps Hawthorne might have written more like these magical realists.

Magical Realism

From the Paper:

"Magical Realism is typically considered a 20th century Latin American phenomenon in literature, with writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende carrying the flag. Since the time of the first Magical Realism boom-writers, many critics have studied the mode of writing and pointed toward Magical Realism literature being present in cultures outside the South and Central Americas. Certainly, there are elements of Magical Realism in literature all over the world. Many contemporary writers--such as Toni Morrison--have been identified as having Magical Realism tendencies in their writing, but our area of interest here lies in the past--before the boom writers themselves--back into the 19th century, and with the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allende, Isabel. "Thinking About Latin America." 1989.
  • Bradford, William. "Thomas Morton of Merrymount." The Norton Anthology of American Literature, V. 1. Nina Baym, Ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1998. 187-191.
  • Carpentier, Alejo. "On the Marvelous Real in America." 1949.
  • Chanady, Amaryll. "The Problem of Definition." Magical Realism and the Fantastic: Resolved Versus Unresolved Antimony. New York and London: Garland, 1985.
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Short Stories. Newton Arvin, Ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1946.

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Is Hawthorne's Fiction Magical Realism? (2010, May 30) Retrieved February 28, 2021, from

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