Reading Reflections Essay

1051 words - 5 pages

I believe the use and mention of metaphysics in Jorge Borges The garden of the forking paths and Donald Barthelme’s Snow White is to point out the similarities between metaphysics and metafiction. I believe both authors incorporated metaphysics to draw parallels with making reflections on the mechanics of making and comparing literature, and how we perceive and reflect upon the nature of reality. I believe literature can be interpreted just as any object in the real world, and it is dynamic and changing according to interpretations. An author can integrate their interpretations into their text, in the reality they have created. Metaphysics and metafiction are inherently similar concepts and both novels were intended to demonstrate this idea, by pointing out that just as the realities in the real world reality can be altered so too can a known story change.
Both stories are taken in different periods of time, but generally in the past. Snow White by Donald Barthelme is a modern take of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grim. In the novel Snow White is characterized quite similar to her old self. In the beginning, the description “The hair as black as ebony, the skin white as snow” (Barthelme 4),” shows how similar she appears, yet this version of Snow White has her differences. She is older, and as such her height reflects this change, and she conducts herself not as innocent as she was in the fairy tale. Despite the similarities and differences, it was deliberate that the author chose to create Snow White in this manner, as opposed to an entirely different character that was intended to symbolize Snow White. It was also intended for certain characters to be placed into similar roles, such as how Jane represents the stepmother from the fairytale, and Paul being a representation of the prince. Other references are apparent of the original tale such as “hi ho”, and to other fairy tales such as Snow White leaving her hair flow out the window akin to Rapunzel. Snow White and Paul are written to be aware of their role in the story, and note how it differs from the fairy tale. Snow White longs for a “Paul”, “There is a Paul somewhere, but not here. Not under my window. Not yet,"(51) by which she means she longs for a prince, just as it happened in the fairy tale apparently is not happening in her current reality. Her reality reflects a new interpretation, that is connected to the author and the time period the text was written. It is evident that Snow White lives the way she does in the novel, because she lives in a different time, in modern society. Fairy tales cease to be a reality in modern society; they are just stories created to tell a moral if any. Yet at the same time when fairy tales are modernized, they become as true as the original when they were written, in some way or form. Snow White is Barthelme interpretation of the realities the fairy tale would assume in a different time, and demonstrate how a story...

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