How are these elements tied to reality? Or alternative reality? With that, are we, as the readers, ever sure of what exactly is the concrete

How are these elements tied to reality? Or alternative reality? With that, are we, as the readers, ever sure of what exactly is the concrete

How are these elements tied to reality? Or alternative reality? With that, are we, as the readers, ever sure of what exactly is the concrete

The prompt asks you to analyze the ways in which Borges uses fantasy in order to confuse or play mind games with the reader. When thinking about answering this, first consider these few concepts:


1. Reality
We already discussed this in a slightly different way with our two previous stories. In Borges’ stories, we often aren’t completely sure of what’s real and what’s not. For example, think of the greater metaphor of the maze and the existence of multiple realities, or the continuity of a circle that constantly creates. How are these elements tied to reality? Or alternative reality? With that, are we, as the readers, ever sure of what exactly is the concrete reality within his stories? Or are we constantly guessing?

2. Unreliable Narration
Borges often makes his narrators and characters nuanced and dubious. This leaves the reader with an unreliable narrator. How does that affect the reader? What does it mean to doubt the authenticity of a story? Why, in your opinion (which you will back up with textual evidence), is unreliable narration a key feature of his mind games? Follow along this thought process.

3. Liminality
We discussed liminality in both of our previous stories; it’s the idea of being stuck between two places, existing between multiple stages, or just being caught in the middle. Liminality can be physical, for example, Frodo lives between the Shire and the rest of Middle Earth; while Alice exists in a more peculiar liminal space as she lives between two realities. Furthermore, if you refer to our class document, we discussed the liminality contained in certain literary devices, such as the inclusion of water or sleep in a narrative. How does liminality manifest in Borges’ stories? And what does it signify? How does it alter the story? And most importantly, how does it mess with the reader and their experience?

Answer preview for How are these elements tied to reality? Or alternative reality? With that, are we, as the readers, ever sure of what exactly is the concrete

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