Magical Realism

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Structural Devices in The Woman Warrior and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee and The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston employ many similar structural devices. These devices include: Magical Realism, which combines tradition, superstition, and religion to form a world of endless plausibilities; Masque, which allows characters who disguise their appearance certain freedoms they would not posses otherwise; an finally Symbolism, a device that gives intangible subjects tangible characteristics. These devices, magical realism, masque and symbolism, serve to give the film and the novel a semblance of a mystical world where endless possibilities exist. The Woman Warrior and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would merely classify as drab collections of fights and battles without the aid of the previously mentioned devices.

For example, Magical Realism functions as one of the primary tools in creating a universe in which infinite possibilities exist. The impossibilities in literary and cinematic productions can often present themselves as possibilities to the viewer.

For instance, the ability for those trained in Wudan to leap seamlessly through the air, although impossible, appears plausible. These possibilities often justified through stretched truths (concentration, discipline etc.) help to create an atmosphere of verisimilitude. For example, Fa Mu lan must first learn quietness, once learned she acquires the ability to "point at the sky and make a sword appear, a silver bolt in the sunlight, and control its slashing with my mind," (33). Thus the reader allows herself/himself to believe in the magical production of weaponry through discipline and concentration, making the event plausible.

Another device, Masque, serves to compliment the mystical world. In The Woman Warrior Fa Mulan exists in a patriarchal society where endless possibilities exist, as long as one pertains to the male portion of the population, as Mulan states, in recollection, "I...