Free Essay: Compare a Work of the Realist Period and a Work That Uses Magical Realism

Published: 2023-03-20
Free Essay: Compare a Work of the Realist Period and a Work That Uses Magical Realism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Character analysis Books Comparative literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1735 words
15 min read

Realism is deemed as the beginning of the modern arts. Realism seeks for new truths through overturning and reexamining the traditional systems of beliefs and values to realize progressive modernism. Thus, realism dealt with cultural, politics, economics, and social life in the mid-19th century (Https://, n.d.). Magical realism refers to the harmonious combination of realist and supernatural representations of codes which ignores the tension escalated by epistemological clashes and incompatibilities. This paper shall compare and contrast "Maggie: A Girl of the Street" by Stephen Crane and "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Midnight's Children

In the book "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie composes an allegory that expatriates the history of modern India. The book gives a transitional phase where Indian become independent from British colonialism. The story is enshrined with magical powers possessed by various people (Rushdie, 32). The story of Saleem the narrator is written for his son, who like Saleem, is supernaturally gifted with Indian history. In Magical Realism, the amalgamation of realism and illusion is a vital concept.

At the beginning of the story, Salman Rushdie introduces a various element that relates to Aadam Aziz who is the grandfather to Saleem. In this context, Salman Rushdie blends magical and real issues. In one of the scenes in 1915, Aadam Aziz hits the ground when praying. The story narrates that three drops of blood covered his nose and enclosed it into rubies. The story has it that his tears were a solid as diamonds. In the context of magical realism, a conclusion can be drawn that there exists a conflict between the world of reality and fantasy. Such that, each of the world aims at establishing a fictional world from each other.

The book through magical, realistic, develops its voice and makes it possible for the readers to hear. In the book "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie uses the elements of magical realists by mixing the world of fantasy and real items. In essence, Rushdie twists time and encompasses vital concepts such as folklore and myths in his writings. Rushdie's magic realism bases its originality in a moment of uncertainty, less illusion, rituals, and belief of people, storytelling style of an unreliable narrator, inner conflict, and psychological and emotional worlds.

Rushdie also uses the character Tai to display magical realism. In the book, Tai claims to be the great antiquity, boatman. In his claim, Tai argues that he has observed empires die and seen the mountains being born. Also, Tai asserts that he watched the Christ, Isa, when he toured Kashmir. In this context, Rushdie uses the character Tai to represent the ancient and pre-colonial period in India.

A political figure, Milan Abdullah, before India's independence, has a unique character of humming without being interrupted. Milan Abdullah has a high and sharp pitch which influences the people who surround him. For instance, at one scene, Abdullah humming causes the glass windows to fall. As the story evolves, readers are introduced to fantastical events such as the 1001 midnight's children. The book narrates that the children have different magical gifts.

The book displays the character Tai Bibi who is a demimondaine. Tai is portrayed to have lived for over 512 years. In spite of her age, Tai can assume the body odor of any individual. The kind of trait Tai has is unique and cannot be witnessed in real life. Similarly, Saleem's mother is afraid of giving birth to a baby has cauliflower in the head rather than the brain (Rushdie, 31). In this context, Saleem develops telepathic power and the ability to smell people's emotions. The strength of smell is acquired from Aadam, his grandfather. The grandfather is known to have had a magical and broad nose. Based on his magical nose, the grandfather was spared in Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

Saleem uses the technique of magical realism. In this application, Saleem blends history, fantastic elements, realism, and mythology. The use of magical realism as the most effective way to express the history and his position as a postcolonial Indian citizen. References and magic to old myth structure and control the narratives. Such that, magic and references are well-established in modern history. The author uses fantasy as an approach to releasing intensified reality images (Gale, 56). By using this approach, Rushdie portrays the events happening and flowing the independence of India. Rushdie covers desperate materials concerning chaotic developments, growing optimism, popular upsurge, and political upheaval. The materials are stemmed on fantasy than cannot be hoven together by any other approach apart from fiction.

In this book, Rushdie has used the magical realism approach to solve post-colonialist problems. The reasoning is based on the concept that people tend to create tradition, customs, beliefs, stories, histories, and identities, and share them with others. In magic realistic fiction, metaphors are applied at a greater height (Gale, 58). In the entire novel, metaphor is used to read and interpret an allegory of Indian history.

In the book "Midnight's Children," the language of fantasy applied is not representational. The facts represented in the text do not capture reality. In the book, the real elements and facts are fabricated. The other trademarks of fantasy captured is an overt violation of what is accepted as facts, true, and probable. Rushdie destabilizes the form of knowledge to stop claiming authority for metaphorical implications. The novel questions everything to ensure nothing achieves a total power. Such that nothing is considered more important than others. The book "Midnight's Children" uses the magic realists to criticize the claim of absolute truth and total authority.

The book uses traditional storytelling as a useful and vital tool for expressing ideas and transferring knowledge through literature. Magical realism is applied to undermine the essential historical narrative status. However, in the "Midnight's Children," Rushdie has constructed a version of a vital historical narrative that reveals the fabricated nature. The character Saleem applies magical realism with the blending of history, fantastic elements, realism, and mythology to narrate his story.

Maggie: A Girl of the Street

In the "Maggie: A Girl of the Street," Stephen Crane uses dialect. The book uses dialogue and choppy uneducated lines to display knowledge of how low-income people lived. Stephen Crane displays the ultimate goal behind his writing. In essence, Crane creates his own dialect throughout his entire writing. Crane develops is his own dialogue through experience. In the book "Maggie," the emphasis is based on the writer's dialect. The other approaches and styles used are structured around the dialect aspect (Crane, 23). One of the qualities in the book "Maggie" is the ability of Stephen Crane to express the events taking place in admirable ways uniquely.

Crane uses a girl called Maggie who is blossomed in a mud puddle. The choice of the writer of words in describing Maggie is unique. Crane uses some unusual words in describing Maggie such as the tenements, mud puddles, and a beautiful girl.

In the book "Maggie," Crane uses characterization to enable the reader to form hypotheses of what a character is likely to become in the novel. Stephen Crane captures the harshest of realities such as diseases and crimes that have been experienced by Maggie. The writer displays the atrocities of battle fueled in The Red Badge Courage. In this context, the writer is focused on conveying the message which is the determining element in individual life. Crane believes that there cease to be heroes. In essence, heroes are different people in different situations. The novel "Maggie" is naturalistic. Instead of making the novel a fiction, Stephen Crane crafts the depression of bowery from his own perception, understanding, and observation.

The characters used in this novel can hardly be distinguished from sordid types who serve as either secondary or stock characters. The book "Maggie" was based on revolution. The book displays the life of Maggie without tinted lenses and pretence. The book "Maggie" exposes the gaping wounds within the society. The book creates some ideology that undermines human agency by substituting a belief in social forces' power to tackle fatalism. The young girl Maggie is the subject of massive social forces such as crime. The crime and diseases seem inevitable as fate. For instance, Maggie is drawn to Pete based on social circumstances such as lack of realistic prospects, lifetime brutality, and poverty (Crane, 33). The door that Maggie explore leads her towards tragedy. Maggie's ruin is inevitable. The technique used by Stephen Crane is real in the contemporary setting. The incidence is common among reckless bachelors and desperate girls.

Stephen Crane claims that the failures of Maggie are the social forces that cause her downfall and eventual demise. Such that, her romantic nature renders Maggie oblivious to the real world. Thus, it makes Maggie blame her downfall as reality forces.

Stephen Crane expresses sympathy to the humanity of every character apart from Mary. The characters in this book are hardened, victimized, and brutalized by social forces beyond their control. The book aims at criticizing ridiculous attitudes, ideas, sentimentalism, hypocrisy, and injustices they face (Crane, 40). The book aims at forgives and understands the things that cruelty exposes.


The "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie is erroneous as compared to "Maggie" by Stephen Crane. In essence, the "Midnight's Children" focus on formalistic narratology aspects such as rhetoric and metaphors. These aspects exist in either historical or fictional accounts to a varying degree. For that reason, the aspects lead to fuzziness and conflation. In the book "Midnight's Children," there is a massive difference between historiography and fiction. In "Maggie," the historical writings though based on Crane's mind, captures a truth-functional to construct a real-world that acts as the model of the past.

In conclusion, the book "Maggie "shows the historical truth that the young girl experience in life. However, the "Midnight's Children" posits a fictional poiesis to constructs the intended world that ceased to have existed before the writing. In this context, the historical noesis applies these writings to develop models of the past that existed before the act of writing. For that reason, Rushdie can depict the post-colonial India and their internal dissent politics.


Crane, S. (2010). Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Other New York Writings. New York, NY: Modern Library.

Crane, S. (2019). Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. Courier Dover Publications.

Gale, C. (2015). A Study Guide for Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. Gale, Cengage Learning.

Https://, S. (2011). Midnight's Children. New York, NY: Random House.

Cite this page

Free Essay: Compare a Work of the Realist Period and a Work That Uses Magical Realism. (2023, Mar 20). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism