The two stories Aura and Lamia talk about shape shifters, in Aura theshape-shifter is the old widow Consuelo, who transforms herself intothe young Aura in order to seduce Montero and sleep with him. Whileas in the poem Lamia, Lamia is the shape-shifter who transformsherself from a serpent into a beautiful woman who places Lycius undera magic spell making him to fall in love with her. The two storieshave numerous contrasts such as imagination and reason, and dream andreality. Furthermore, there is a stunning similarity between the twonarratives.
Similarity of Fact andFancy
In Aura, the fact is the old widow Consuelo lives alone after thedeath of her husband. The fancy is she lives with her niece Aura, whois very beautiful. To fancy appear real she uses magic the realityis Aura and Consuelo is the same person. How do we know this whenMontero makes love to Aura, she transforms into the aged Consuelo andeven at some point rather than go to Aura`s room Montero goes to theold widow room and makes love to her. In Lamia, fancy is in thewedding when Lamia makes the house appear marvelous and lavish itwith a feast. Lycius and his guest cannot see the reality, but theuninvited philosopher Apollonius can see the reality and thus exposesLamia for who she is a serpent.
Similarity of Dreaming andWaking
In his dream, Montero thought he saw Aura slaughtering a goat and onrushing to the old widow room, he found her doing the same movementsas Aura this was a dream. In another dream, he finds Aura lying nakedon his bed after they have had sex and unknowingly made a promise toher that they are married. Reality is there is no Aura rather it’sa spell the old widow has cast on Montero in order to lure him to bedand force him to marry her. In page 404, the writer says that “Henotes something strange about Aura`s behavior.” In Lamia, the storyis the same Lamia cast a spell on Lycius when they first met makinghim think that he was in love with her “in part 1, line 295 Lyciusis `tangled in her mesh`. When the philosopher exposes Lamia for whoshe is Lycius awakes from his dream and sees Lamia for who she reallyis a serpent.
A key theme inthese is two storiesis reality versus dreams.
Fuentes, Carlos. Aura. Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology. Eds.David Young and Keith Hollaman.New York: Longman, 1984. 393-417.Print.
Keats, John. Lamia. Class Handout. 15 Oct 2014.