Magic in Literature and Its Practical Applications

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This presentation explores the sociological function of magic in fantasy literature as a means of understanding how it serves as a symbol in real life. This presentation examines specific instances in literature, namely within Christopher Paolini’s series The Inheritance Cycle, in which magic is used or discussed by members of different cultures and social hierarchies. In each of these instances, the role of magic is analyzed in context of how it affects people of different social classes and races. By understanding how magic functions in these contexts, the parallel between magic in the world of fantasy and the real world becomes apparent. Paolini makes use of magic in his work to represent the imbalance of power among different hierarchical levels of society within the world of fantasy. In doing so, he offers a social critique on the inequality of power among various members of society within the real world. This presentation demonstrates how Paolini uses magic to reveal this concept of inequality of power and its practical consequences and applications in society.