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Pedro Paramo

In: Novels

Submitted By rose7
Words 914
Pages 4
Is there a set distinction between reality and illusions? Can someone’s illusions be their reality? What happens if one is lost within the abyss of such a struggle? Magical realism is somewhat of an explanation for such struggle. Magical Realism is a form of art, which allows people to view the world differently. It deals with emotions, meaning, and mystery in trying to figure out what life is, but only through a distinct imagination and willingness to learn can someone understand such feelings and actions. Both Pedro Paramo, from Pedro Paramo, and Will Atenton, from the movie “Dream House”, are lost within the lives that they believed to be reality but are in fact illusions. Both characters live within a life with their wives that are perceived to be true, but are in fact completely wrong. Do they figure it out? Will Atenton lives in this illusion in which him, his wife, and two daughters have just moved into a new home whose previous owners were killed and the father was sent to a psychiatric ward. The father, Peter Ward, allegedly killed his wife and two daughters only after being accidently shot in the head, himself, by his wife. Atenton searched for the answers just to be told by the psychiatric ward, which once held Peter Ward, that he is Peter Ward. He had created a new identity to cope with the death of his family. Upon figuring out that he in fact is Peter Ward, he also realizes that his perception of his children and wife were all illusions. How could it not have been real if he could see, feel, and talk to them? This drove Ward into a frenzy and psychological break down, making him realize what had actually occurred the night of the murders. The writers not expressing who was alive and who was not gave a sense of magical realism. The audience would have never known that Ward’s family were dead due to the fact that we saw them as a normal family. The husband would come home from work and greet his family. The wife would cook and feed her children and husband. They would play together and sleep together, so who would have known that this was not real? Imagination then needs to make the distinction between illusion and reality, what is real and what is unreal. Once Ward came to the realization of what reality was he was able to see that the home that was once thought as beautiful and his wife’s masterpiece was in fact a vacant home with boards missing and no windows. There were no furniture and no lights within. Nothing was as what he expressed it to be. Pedro Paramo was a don, a manipulator, an abuser of power, but also a lover. At an early age, Pedro’s heart was taken by Susanna San Juan. “I was thinking of you. Of the times you were there looking at me with your aquamarine eyes” (12). He always wanted Susanna but had to commit to Juan Preciado’s mom in order to pay the debt he owed. Now Susanna was not any ordinary woman. As he explained on page 108, “a woman who is not of this world.” In one instance, she asked her cleaning lady if she hears what she hears. She told her that she “would be frightened…you would be frightened if you heard what I hear,” (109) in which she speaks of being able to hear her past. Susanna San Juan is stuck living in what she thinks is her reality with her late husband, Florencio. She would have illusions of her and her husband in the sea making love. Everything is perfect, according to Susanna, but what does Pedro witness? Pedro was with a woman who was bedridden and who would sigh throughout her time with him. “He had spent the whole night in her room, standing against the wall and observing her in the wan candlelight: sweaty face, hands fidgeting with the sheets and tugging at her pillow until it was in shreds” (95). He finally got the woman who owned his heart, “but what world was Susanna San Juan living in? That was one of the things Pedro Paramo would never know” (95). She was living another reality and so was he. He pictured this perfect world with the woman of his dreams just to see that she was stuck in her own illusions. They shared a common reality but each had their own illusions of what they wanted. Upon her death towards the end of the book, his turn to die is apparent, and his eagerness to be with is love is maximized. Even with death knocking at the door, he still calls out for her, but she does not come to him. Nothing was as what he expressed it to be. Peter Ward, Susanna San Juan, and Pedro Paramo each had a perception of what their lives were. They pictured a perfect world with their loved ones, while at the same time living reality in confusion and misfortune. The illusions overpowered their reality. Magical realism brings out the imagination and creativity of the reader/viewer in trying to figure out what is real, who is real, and what is made up. It makes us question whether the authors intended such actions and feelings, and whether something was misunderstood, or understood just enough to make the connections. Between illusions and reality, there is a battle.

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