Magical Realism in the Continuity of Parks and an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Magical Realism is a genre of fiction where the setting is in the real world, but extraordinary events that never could actually happen, happen. It is a way of bringing fantasy and reality together. In the short stories, "The Continuity of Parks" by Julio Cortazar, and "An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Biercei, we see magical realism is used by the authors to show the difference between reality and dreams, and how human brain can mix the dreams with reality.

In "The Continuity of Parks", the protagonist is obviously a bookworm and bibliophile; reading is a distraction from his everyday life, including his matters at work. It is a way for him to escape everyday reality. The story starts with him sitting in his favorite chair, and reading a book. In the end, he becomes so immersed in the novel he is reading that he falls asleep, and dreams that he is killed by the characters he is reading about. In a way,the reader becomes part of the book. The ending is confusing, and it makes you wonder whether the story of the man reading at the beginning is real or whether the story he is reading has become real; there is a questioning of the reality and readers are left profoundly confused.

Magical realism is also very evident in Ambrose Bierce's story "An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". In "An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge", the main character, Peyton Farquhar, is hanged, but the rope around his neck breaks, and he falls into the water and gets away from his captors. He runs into the forest, and finally finds his way back home to his wife and children. But in the end we learn that it was all just a dream that passed through the man's mind in a matter of seconds. In his dying moment, he dreamed of his survival. His mind protected itself against the harsh reality that he was about to die, and created a alternate reality for him, in which he survives and goes back to his family.

Despite some differences, "The Continuity of Parks" and "An Occurrence at Owl...