Bulgacov's Use of Magic Realism in Master and Margarita
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The Master and Margarita: Bulgakov’s Use of Magic Realism The Russian novel, Master and Margarita, was written in an environment of strict government control in early twentieth century, where even the presence of the manuscript in the author’s own house was something to fear. Bulgakov is believed to have burned the manuscript, only to re-write it later from memory. He must have felt a writer’s responsibility to record the historic issues that contradicted the country’s regime and atheistic religious stance.
In magic realism, many layers of reality and fiction are integrated within each other. It creates hybridity, a complex, parallel with multiple planes of reality, but still identifiable by the reader. As metafiction, it takes…show more content… The government is not ever mentioned or portrayed by anything in the novel, perhaps a reflection of the overwhelming care Bulgakov takes.
A metafictional element of magic realism is the brilliant way in which the Devil is blended into the natural world by personification through the character of Professor Woland. He is described in details such as “his right eye was black, the left, for some strange reason, green. Black eyebrows, but one higher than the other.” And his “high bald forehead” is “cleft by deep lines running parallel to the pointed eyebrows.” The description is extensive, and the details are layered to give more and more reality and importance to the magical element of the Devil.
Stylistically, the magic realism is so blunt and weird that in the beginning of the novel, even the reader is confused, disrupted mentally from a normal thought pattern. As the story progresses, the reader acquiesces to the style itself, including all the ridiculous supernatural magical elements. A connection can be made to Russians being subjected to blunt changes, where at first the people would have been shocked and resistant, but also evolved to become numb to the abnormal.
Dualism, profound language and multi-layered diction are a part of Bulgakov’s style used abundantly in the novel, to enhance and back up the primary technique of magic realism. To illustrate this, the secret police, who have