Art History:  Magical Realism and Surrealism

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Magical realism and surrealism are both a type of visual art, they are different from what’s considered normal its unique art. In the novel Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya it’s about a six year old boy named Antonio who starts to question everything he does, thinks, and dreams about, the novel focuses on a hispanic background. Anotnio’s dreams have a massive impact on the decisions he takes and how he views people.

Magical realism and surrealism visual arts are similar in the way of both using a unique way of combining realistic objects or actions with some fantasy elements. Magical realism has a Latin American background it started off when myths and true nature were combined. Magical realism is a type of art where an object or action of a myth is combined with an object or action of true nature to seem like less of a fantasy. It involves more realistic everyday objects we see or actions we take. Magical realism is mainly used in literature. However surrealism has a European background it started off when they tried to make their culture more open about new ideas. Surrealism is a type of art that’s made with certain colors, techniques, and themes, it involves a lot of creativity. Features of surrealism are not often seen, it’s meant to take you into another dimension that can only exists in your mind. Surrealism is mainly used when making artwork. Magical realism and surrealism are two good ways to show a unique type of art.

Antonio’s dreams are a massive impact on the decisions he takes and how he views people. On one of the dreams Antonio experiences is reliving his birth. At his birth both Anotonio ́s mother’s family and fathers family had a disagreement on the type of future they wanted Antonio to have.. Antonioś mother’s family is extremely religious and wants Antonio to get a good education to continue the Luna family tradition and become a priest. On the other hand, Antonio ́s fathers family in previous generations have always been cowboys and want Antonio to keep the tradition of the Márez cowboys so he can experience the wilderness of the llanos. Both families constantly argued about what family tradition Antonio would follow.

When Antonio wakes up from his dream and realizes the two drastically different pathways his parents want him to go he fears to disappoint either parent by choosing a tradition and not being able to keep both parents happy with his choice. The drawing represents the two different mindsets each parent had when Antonio was born, the mother wanting him to follow her tradition of becoming a man with education who would later on become a priest and the father wanting him to follow the family tradition of becoming a cowboy both family traditions are two different pathways for Antonio.

Antonio’s dreams are a massive impact on the decisions he takes and how he views people. Another dream Antonio experiences is seeing the future. Antonio and his brothers are by the river when he is told by his three older brothers Andrew, Eugene, and Léon that he is a Luna meaning he will be a priest. While having the conversation they hear a cry coming out of the river and the three older brothers quickly assume it is the soul of Lupito calling them. Extremely terrified Andrew, Eugene, and Léon ran off however Antonio shouts to them to stay that its only the soul of the river. The three older brother want help. Antonio asks the river to grant him a wish to help his siblings of leaving and building a castle on top of a hill.

When Antonio wakes up from his dream he realizes he is seeing the future because his brothers have not yet returned from the war. Antonios confused by the dream he now starts to believe he might actually be a Luna.The drawing represents the location of the river where the three older siblings and Antonio were and the facial expressions the three brothers in the drawing show how terrified Andrew, Eugene, and Léon were of hearing the supposed cry of Lupito .This dream really makes Antonio question a lot of things such as, did it mean his brothers were actually going to come home soon and if he was truly a Luna.

In conclusion Anotnio’s dreams have a massive impact on the decisions he takes and how he views people. Magic realism and surrealism is a unique type of art that is different from usual. In one of his dreams Antonio relives his birth he sees the different traditions and is afraid to hurt either parent by choosing one tradition this proves how he views his parents different because of the dream he had and knowing some day he’s going to have to let down one of his parents. In his other dream Antonio is seeing the future. Antonio’s told he is a Luna by his three older siblings. He now thinks he actually will become a Luna when he grows up which proves how his dream starts to determine the decisions he will make in the future. Trough out the novel, Anaya shows us how Anotnio’s dreams have a massive impact on the decisions he takes and how he views people.


Cite this paper

Art History:  Magical Realism and Surrealism. (2021, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/art-history-magical-realism-and-surrealism/



How is magical realism similar to surrealism?
Magical realism and surrealism both explore the boundaries between reality and imagination, often blurring the lines between the two. Both genres use fantastical elements to convey deeper meanings and explore the human psyche.
What is magic realism and surrealism?
Magic realism is a genre of fiction in which magical elements are used in an otherwise realistic setting. Surrealism is a genre of fiction in which the elements of the story are often irrational or impossible.
What is the difference between realism and surrealism in art?
Realism in art is when the artist tries to depict the subject matter in as realistic a manner as possible, while surrealism in art is when the artist tries to depict the subject matter in an unreal or dreamlike manner.
What is the history of magical realism?
It is a qualitative research method that uses participant observation to study people in their natural environment. It is a way to learn about a culture by spending time with its members and participating in their everyday activities.
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