Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths Essay
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Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths
While there may be some debate as to whether the Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges was technically a Magical Realist, some may feel that his works definitely do have some of the characteristics of what is considered Magical Realistic literature. Among his various types of works are poetry, essays, fantasies, and short fictions. Often referred to in essays that discuss the history and theory of Magical Realism, "The Garden of Forking Paths" is probably Borges' most popular short story. Published in 1964 in a collection of Borges works entitled Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings, his short story "The Garden of Forking Paths" appears to have several of the elements of Magical…show more content…
For example, Yu Tsun had a grandfather who wrote an incomplete novel about labyrinths and who also tried "to construct a labyrinth in which all men would get lost." During his journey, Yu Tsun begins to ponder over his grandfather's lost labyrinth. Then, he says, "I forgot my destiny of one pursued. I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, and abstract perceiver of the world . . . The road descended and forked among the now confused meadows" (Borges 23). As a result of thinking about the maze, Yu Tsun finds himself trapped in a garden maze at Dr. Albert's house (Wiehe 980). Of course, being caught in what is seemingly an imaginary maze introduces a magical element into the story.
Being caught in an imaginary maze serves the purpose of giving the reader a different perspective on real life. The imaginary maze represents the numerous paths that one can travel and all of the possible outcomes from these paths. While in real life a person can really only go down one path, the imagination can venture down all possible paths. Two ways in which this is illustrated in "The Garden of Forking Paths" are by the meaning of Yu Tsun's grandfather's novel and by the plot of "The Garden of Forking Paths." When explaining the meaning of the novel by Ts'ui Pen, Yu Tsun's grandfather, Stephen Albert states:
In the work of Ts'ui Pen, all possible outcomes occur; each one is the point of departure for other forkings. Sometimes, the paths of this
by Rachel Goldstein, age 11
Plants are important because they produce oxygen. They are important because some animals eat them. Some plants are used in salads.
Some plants, like flowers, smell good. Bees suck up the nectar from flowers to make honey. Flowers are also used as decorations in houses.
Trees are also used to make houses, swings, paper, boxes, bags, etc.. Trees also give us air to breathe. Children love to make tree houses in trees. You also use trees in your fireplace. Trees are fun to climb.
Grass is fun to roll around in, especially where there is a hill. Tall grass is very fun to play and hide in. It is also fun to help the grass grow. It is fun to turn on the sprinkler and run through it while it waters the grass.
Leaves are on trees. At times the leaves fall from the trees, especially in Autumn they fall. Then it's fun to rake them into a pile to jump into.
A bush is a small tree. A bush is fun to hide in. A bush can be a wind breaker. A bush also gives us the air we breathe.
No matter what kind of plant it is...a tree, a flower, a blade of grass, a leaf, or just a bush...
They need our help to live and grow.