Magical Realism in Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife

Emi Asmida(1*),

(1) Airlangga University
(*) Corresponding Author



This study aims to explore the five elements of magical realism which are portrayed in the novel The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger in order to find out whether the novel can be categorized as magical realism or not. The writer chooses this novel to be analyzed because the novel won the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize and a British Book Award and it has been adapted into a film. The data of this study are characters’ utterances and author narration which contain five elements of magical realism. The data is collected by applying the intensive reading and highlighting the data. This study uses magical realism theory, especially five elements of magical realism proposed by Wendy B. Faris. The results of the study show that The Time Traveler’s Wife contains five elements of Magical Realism. Those are Irreducible Element, Phenomenal World, Unsettling Doubt, Merging Realms, and Disruption of Time. However, the five elements described as the representation of the postcolonial context since magical realism also can be categorized as a way to reveal the authoritative colonialist attitude. Thus, this study found the cultural history of Chicago where the time traveler’s lives as the result of postcolonial side of magical realism.

Full Text:



Andalas, M. I., Nugroho, B. A., & Mulyani, A. (2018). Realisme Magis dalam Delirium Mangkuk Nabi Karya Triyanto Triwikromo. Pertemuan Ilmiah Bahasa dan Sastra Ubdibesua, 201-212.

Bowers, M. A. (2004). Magic(al) Realism. New York: Routledge.

Camayd-Freixas, E. (1998). Theories of Magical Realism. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.

Cowburn, J. (2008). Free Will, Predestination & Determinism. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

Dimitrijevic, E. (2008). The Character of Love: The Case of The Time Traveler's Wife. Lingua, 35-46

Domenech, J. U., & Selva, J. N. (2016). What are Belief Systems?. Alicante, 1-6.

Faris, W. B. (2004). Ordinary Enchantments Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

History. (2017). History Chicago. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from History:

Howell, E. (2017, November 14). Time Travel: Theories, Paradoxes & Possibilities. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from Science & Astronomy:

Islam, J. (2019). Feminis Space in Magica Realims: Coexistnece of Magic and Feminist Tropes in Joanne Harris’ Chocolat nad The Lollipop Shoes. BRAC University, English and Humanities. BRAC University.

Knight, E. W. (2015). Literature and the Objective Society. Chicago Review, 19-26.

Martin, S. (2017, August 7). Russian Cosmonaut Already lives in FUTURE - proving time travel IS possible. Retrieved January 5, 2020, from Sunday Express:

Muhtarom, I. (2004). Realisme Magis dalam Cerpen: Kasus Cerpen Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Triyanto Triwikromo, dan A.S Laksana. Jurnal Poetika, 2(2), 148-157.

Mulia, S. W. (2016). Realisme Magis dalam Novel SImple Miracles Doa dan Arwah Karya Ayu Utami. Thesis, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya

Mzali, Inez. (2003). Approaching the Real through Magic Realism: Magic Realism in Contemporary Indian Literature in English (Master’s Thesis, Concordia University, Canada)

Niffeneger, Audrey. (2003). The Time Traveler’s Wife. United States of America: MacAdam.

Ober, J. (2002). Social Science History, Cultural History, and the Amnesty of 403. Transactions of the American Philological Association, 127-137

Parvanch, F. (2018). Covert Order in the "Adurey Niffenegger Set': Chaos Theory in the Content and Structure of The Time Traveler's Wife. International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, 6(2), 155-162.

Pieldner, J. (2016). Magic Realism, Minimalist Realism and the Figuration of the Tableau in Contemporary Hungrian and Romanian Cinema. Acta Universitatis Sapientiae: Film and Media Studies(12), 87-144. doi:10.1515/ausfm-1016-0005

Selden, R. (1991). Panduan Membaca Teori Sastra Masa Kini. Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press

Septiana, R., Pujiati, H., & Astutiningsih, I. (2015, Mei). Life of Pi: Pemunculan Realisme Magis dan Penghapusan Dunia-Dunia. Publika Budaya, 3(2), 14-24.

Tate. (2017). Art Term Expressionism. Retrieved January 15, 2020, from Tate:

Tindle, D. (2007, September). The Magic of Everyday Things: Magic Realism in the Work of Joanne Harris. Northumbria University.

Tylor, E. B. (1871). Primitive Culture: Researches Into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom. London: Digitalized by Google

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 89 times | PDF view : 2 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Flag Counter