Zenzotli’s Deluded Reality

November 15, 2011

Many narratives utilize the technique of magical realism. Within a narrative, magical realism establishes a setting within a reality, but also contains magical or supernatural elements. In Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex, the homodiegetic narrator, Zenzotli exists between two realities; one in which he works at a meat packing plant, and one in which he is the “Keeper of the House of Darkness”. Although the two realities alone are evidence of magical realism, because the two realities tend to affect one another, they tend to reveal more elements of magical realism. For instance, while trying to get the attention of the people, Zenzotli states:

 “I snapped my fingers. It came to me (What? I’m, like, a genius! How do I do it?), I knew exactly what I had to do to ensure enough signatures for the union ratification vote to take place according to the rules of law of the National Labor Relations Board as promulgated by President Roosevelt in the Zippity-doo-dah.” (Sesshu Foster 75)

By making it appear that the idea to attract voters came to him purely by magic, Zenzotli blurs the line that separates his two realities and inserts a supernatural element. Similarly, while working on the killing floor, Zenzotli comments “Once upon a time I had though Max was a good guy” (Foster 48). Zenzotli’s comment utilizes a cliché introduction to traditional fairy tales in order to make a mere remark. However, the mere insertion of the line causes readers to reflect on his alternate reality, in which he is more content.

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