Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on August 7, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 550

In A Discovery of Witches, there's a large contrast between the magic world and the normal world. This is something that has a large effect on the main character, Diana. She talks about how her mother looked like anyone else's by day. However:

Illustration of PDF document

Download A Discovery of Witches Study Guide

Subscribe Now

In the privacy of our home, with the curtains drawn and the door locked, my mother became someone else. Her movements were confident and sure, not rushed and hectic. Sometimes she even seemed to float. As she went around the house, singing and picking up stuffed animals and books, her face slowly transformed into something otherworldly and beautiful. When my mother was lit up with magic, you couldn’t tear your eyes away from her.

This lays the basis for Diana's rejection of magic—which doesn't last long once she finds a book that draws her back to the world and forces her to rethink her past. The magical world exists but is largely unseen by humans. That's the world Diana turned her back on to be an academic.

Diana discusses the change in the world with vampires. They talk about how humans slowly snuffed out the idea of magic as something real. Deborah Harkness writes:

Common sense told me to remain silent, but the knotted threads of my own secrets began to loosen. "I wanted to know how humans came up with a view of the world that had so little magic in it," I added abruptly. "I needed to understand how they convinced themselves that magic wasn’t important."

The vampire's cool gray eyes lifted to mine. "Have you found out?"

"Yes and no." I hesitated. "I saw the logic that they used, and the death of a thousand cuts as experimental scientists slowly chipped away at the belief that the world was an inexplicably powerful, magical place. Ultimately they failed, though. The magic never really went away. It waited, quietly, for people to return to it when they found the science wanting."

This might be why many of the supernatural creatures in the novel seem to be drawn to academics. It's a place where creatures can continue to use at least...

(The entire section contains 550 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this A Discovery of Witches study guide. You'll get access to all of the A Discovery of Witches content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Quotes
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial