In Ana Castillo's So Far From God, where does the author use "Magic Realism?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Castillo employs many areas where Magical Realism is experienced.  One example of this would be in the death of Caridad.  Castillo writes that death itself can be seen as an example of magical realism:  "...the end of Caridad and her beloved Emerald, which we nevertheless will refrain from calling tragic."   Caridad's death is one that transcends mortal being, and Magical Realism in the means through which her death is not tragic.  When she dies, there are no remains of her body and the body of her lover, Esmeralda.  Both women jump from a mesa believed to be imbued with divine powers.  In this instance, Castillo has used magical realism to communicate a power beyond death.  The ability for Caridad's death to embrace magical realism helps to explain how she has been able to transcend the brutality and savagery of mortal life. It is through Magical Realism that Caridad is able to establish connection to another world, a spiritual realm that is her pursuit when she is violated and disfigured. Magical realism is evident in how Caridad is able to assume a condition where she is not "so far from God." Magical realism is the way in which Castillo can ensure that characters like Caridad, women who have suffered so much in their time on earth, can find a realm apart from it.  In articulating her death and the conditions that envelop it, Castillo is able to use Magical Realism as a way to provide liberation for characters like Caridad, enabling them to approach a transcendent realm that is so far from them in mortal being.  Through this, Castillo is able to employ Magical Realism as a way of enhancing the novel's characterizations.

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