Portafolios Electrónicos - Uniandes

La luz es como el agua BY GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

by Juan David Barragán Méndez

Protagonist: Children: Toto and Joel

Secondary: Parents

Extras: The thirty-seven classmates, firefighters.

When highlighting the characters of the story, García Márquez portrays a direct characterization in the story since the characters are known, not by data provided by the narrator, but by these facts: thoughts, comments, actions, etc. For instance, Joel and Toto are children who do not rest until they attain what they want. Although in previous years they were the lowest achievers in class, they won the gold awards, and their parents gave them equipment spearfishing.

A Direct Style is used in the voices of the characters.  It can be seen: "First said the mother, there are no more navigable water that comes out of the shower," or "-The boat is in the garage - dad said at lunch."

This story has all the features of a narrative text. The interrelation of each of the elements can be noticed: the story itself, the order of events, the narrator and point of view, characters, time, space and the receiver.

The story is told in a condensed way. The reporter does not focus on personality traits, physical features, actions, thoughts, but in particular situations uses a method of expansion, such as the characteristics of the environment. Here, the author shows children surfing with that fluorescent light or particular characteristics of objects floating and submerged in the pool of light. An example of this: "Domestic utensils, in the fullness of his poetry, flew with their own wings across the sky from the kitchen. The band instruments of war, that children used for dancing, floating adrift among goldfish released from the tank Mom, we were the only floating alive and happy in the vast illuminated swamp ". 

The storyteller narrates the story in third person, but in one occasion also intervenes and says: "This fabulous adventure was the result of a mine lightness while participating in a seminar on the poetry of household utensils" or "Madrid of Spain, a remote city of burning summers and icy winds, no sea or river, whose aboriginal mainland were never masters in science to surf the light."


The element of magical realism is mainly the light that is represented as water. This light represents the nostalgia that children feel for their homeland which basically they cannot remember. It shows the children’s wish to explore and learn about a land that they are associated to but apart from.  In other words, because of their inexpereince with their homeland that devastates them and so is manifested in their deaths. Llora

As a matter of fact, it can be asked why García Márquez just did not write a story of two children who missed their homeland; nevertheless, it can be exposed that he used the elements of magical realism to create this depth to their emotions. Their emotions become something tangible.  Their past just captures out attention as readers because we focus on the golden light-water and we are astonished by their despair when we realize they have drowned.  The elements of magical realism are what allow the reader to really visualize the depth of feeling these children experience.

  • Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. He was well known as Gabo around Latin America.
  • García Márquez studied Law and Periodism in the National University in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • At the age of 27, he published his first novel, Leaf Storm, which already showed the most characteristic full of overflowing fantasy features of his fiction. From this first work, his narrative loosely connected with the Latin American literary tradition, while was in some American artists, particularly William Faulkner. 
  • Gabo is considered one of the most outstanding authors of the 20th century. In fact, he was awarded in 1972 with the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and in 1982 with the Nobel Prize in Literature


"La luz es como el agua" is a story of magical realism where the idea came up to GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ mind at a poetry seminar. This narrative genre does not describe the established fiction in the text at any point in the story. He rather assumes it as valid and developed to give coherence to the story. It tells the magical adventure of two young brothers who live an adventure full of fun, fantasy and realism. The narrator participates in the story by giving the idea of using light as if it was water and is prostrated in the imagination of some anxious children to sail his boat. The author manages to give life to his idea in two children who leave their imagination and make the light as water on the fifth floor of a building Ride history Spanish in Madrid. The adventure begins when his parents go to movies every Wednesday taking profit of the freedom of their parents absence. This wonderful adventure later is shared with their peers who are 37. It is interesting how the author combines the imagination of children to develop the idea and later convey directly the desire to enjoy the sea, as they did in their hometown, Cartagena de Indias. 


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