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Ficciones Analysis Essay

665 words - 3 pages

Ficciones Essay
Jorge Luis Borges is the author of the novel Ficciones, consisting of many short stories exploring the realm of time and space. “The Garden of Forking Paths” is one of the short stories within Borges’s book. It delves into the idea of time being a labyrinth or web of occurrences demonstrated through an ancient book. Borges’s other short story, “Death and the Compass”, revolves around the concept that space is a labyrinth of locations in all directions revealed through the locations of crime scenes . “The Garden of Forking Paths” and “Death and the Compass” use labyrinths to represent differing concepts through characters, perspectives, and motifs.
Borge’s “The Garden of Forking Paths” has two narrators to produce the story. There is the actual individual involved in the events, who goes by the name Yu Tsun. He a spy in England, off to make his way to the resident Dr. Stephan Albert. However, it is quickly learned that this narrator may not be trustworthy. A second narrator corrects a mistake made by Yu Tsun in regards to Captain Richard Madden and Viktor Runeberg. Yu Tsun assumes “Runeberg had been arrested or murdered” (Borges 89). The concept of multiple narrators’ perspectives telling the same story at the same time is represented by labyrinths later in the story. Time consists of branches of events all happening at once which is revealed through the use of a narrator telling the events of another narrator. When Yu Tsun arrives at Albert’s home and meets him, he is given a book written by his grandfather. The book is chaotic and unfathomable. Yu Tsun realizes that the Garden of Forking Paths refers to the abstract idea of time and outcomes represented by the book. Yu Tsun’s grandfather did not choose a single path, but instead “simultaneously-all of them” (Borges 98). Borges explores the idea that time is everlasting and all events past, present, or future are all happening at once. The running motif of a...

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