Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Wisarut Painark

Publication Date



This study examines the deployment of magical realism along with cinematic techniques in Song of the Sea. Analysing the animated film as a cultural text in light of magical realism, it argues that the film intermingles two different worlds, the mundane and the fantastic, to provide audiences with a more inclusive view of reality. The existence of Celtic mythical beings, selkies, brought to life by magical realism, becomes the cornerstone in the protagonists' healing process as their interactions with these mythical beings gradually reshape their conception of reality. A new "reality" is, thus, employed to vex the protagonists' mind and make them reconsider reality in a new light by helping them vividly see Irish cultural aspects in their mundane life. Taking two selkies, Bronagh and Saoirse, as a metaphor for Irish cultural roots, this paper asserts that the protagonists' embarking on their magical journey to retrieve the selkie's coat not only heals their shattered selves but also induces them to hark back to their cultural roots. Ultimately, the research posits that the protagonist's newly developed self, which eventually allows him and his family to come to terms with their loss, resolves his conflict with Saoirse, who successfully prevents the Irish cultural roots from being forgotten.

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