‘The Magic Shop’

The Magic Shop is a curious tale that follows a father and son’s experience of visiting a ‘genuine magic shop’. While the little boy explores the shop, seeing only joy and wonder, his father is confronted with much more sinister visions. The story therefore examines how we experience the world as children versus how we experience the world as adults. In doing so, ‘The Magic Shop’ forces the reader to consider whether innocence and evil truly exist in the outer world, or whether these are merely determined by our own perceptions.

Favourite Line: I felt him pull at something that clung to my coat-sleeve, and then I saw he held a little, wriggling red demon by the tail–the little creature bit and fought and tried to get at his hand–and in a moment he tossed it carelessly behind a counter… “Astonishing what people will carry about with them unawares!””

The symbolic implication of this line seems to sum up the overall purpose of the story. The narrator, of course, believes the demon belongs to the magic shop, yet the shop owner claims that the narrator has been carrying the little devil around himself. This therefore begs the question – is evil born of our own perceptions?

HG Wells_bw short stories

The famous novelist H.G. Wells also penned a classic short story: ‘The Magic Shop’… Image Credit: Kieran Guckian via Flickr Creative Commons.

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