Comparing The Library Of Babel 'And Jorge Luis Borges Foe'

Words: 1945
Pages: 8

Throughout the course of humanity, the search for a happy and content life has been a universal goal. Some believe fulfillment can come from material goods while others find it in spending time with loved ones. No matter where satisfaction comes from, most people find joy in living a content life. However, some people handle the concept of contentment differently, with some individuals far more accepting of life’s outcomes than others. This concept is present in media and novels of all types, especially in The Library of Babel and Foe. The theme of seeking contentment is present in both Jorge Luis Borges’s The Library of Babel and in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe. Though both authors utilize this theme to develop their narrators, Borges guides his main …show more content…
Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell. Let me be outraged and annihilated, but for one instant, in one being, let Your Enormous Library be justified” to describe his narrator’s reaction to failure (Borges 57). Borges employs different devices in order to convey to the readers how differently the speaker has developed as a character through the theme of searching for contentment. Borges’s use of “hell” and “heaven” through the voice of the narrator can imply that the narrator has become more accepting of his position in the Library. The speaker knows that he is about to pass on and accepts that “honor and wisdom and happiness are not” for him and that a lot may remain unanswered. This acceptance mixed with words associated with the afterlife display how content the speaker has become over the years. Not only is he alright with not reaching his goal of gaining more knowledge, he is even accepting the fiery pits of hell, an image with negative connotations. Borges’s use “you” in this case when describing “Your enormous Library” could be talking to a higher power that is ultimately in control of the library, whether it be God or another mysterious figure. When a higher power, with control of heaven and hell, is introduced, one normally finds himself in its unseen control. This concept is displayed in the narrative through the narrator continuously using the word “let” as if he is holding a conversation with a higher being with more power and control, begging that being to show other library members the answers the narrator has been seeking for