Thursday, August 22, 2013

BIg Fish and Marquez

As we began discussing One Hundred Years of Solitude, Marquez himself started to remind me of the main character in Tim Burton’s, Big Fish (it was originally a book but I’ve only seen the movie). In the movie, a son tries to recount the events of his father’s life, but from what he has been told, cannot separate truth and fiction. Throughout the son’s life, his father told fabricated stories about his past. Waiting at his father’s deathbed, the son asks his father to finally tell the stories of his past the way they actually happened. The son becomes frustrated as the father continues to tell the same fictitious stories and neglects fact. The son begins to believe that he will never truly understand his father.

Marquez and the father’s stories both contain elements of magical realism. Both serve as a fantastic metaphor to the past. As we later discover, there are elements of the truth in the father’s story. The father only embellished his actual past with interesting fables. The son believes he never knew his father, but truly, the tales are what defines the father. Marquez uses mythical elements to create an image for Latin America; likewise, the father uses these elements to create his own identity. Both Marquez and the father ask their audiences to trust in the “marvelous real.” While Marquez isn’t retelling his own past, he is basing his stories off of Latin America’s past. Both the father and Marquez use elements of reality and magic. By changing their stories to be accurate and factual, they loose parts of their own identities. Fiction and reality coexist throughout both of their stories. Eventually, the son accepts that the father will immortally live on through his stories and that the stories became part of the father. Marquez and the father both use magic to create memorable identities.

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