Lesson 2: The Realism in Magical Realism
Students today are steeped in fantasy in many arenas of their lives: video games, popular novels, and films all contribute to students’ enjoyment of otherworldly times and places. These settings make up a large part of their entertainment experiences. Such enjoyment can be a “way in” for teachers to engage students in the groundbreaking novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Beyond entertainment value, it is also important for students to understand the realistic context of this novel, to know that García Márquez was writing about actual historical trends in Latin American history and economic development. His characters were often modeled after real people in his own life and factual events that occurred near his hometown.
Previously in Lesson 1, students encountered an interview with García Márquez that emphasized how magical realism is achieved through his use of details and a matter-of-fact tone. This lesson builds on that knowledge and has them explore how García Márquez used events and people from his own experience and from Colombia’s colorful history to create his magically realistic epic of Macondo.
This lesson is part of a three lesson unit on One Hundred Years of Solitude. Teachers may link to the full unit with Guiding Questions, College and Career Readiness standards and Background. Lesson 2 aligns with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3
Students will identify historical events that are depicted in the novel, "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and explain García Márquez’s treatment of these real events.