Essay Human and Forking Paths

Submitted By husbandsss
Words: 685
Pages: 3

While the short stories Diary of a Madman, The Garden of Forking Paths, and Zaabalawi shared a few social similarities, their political and religious

A subject that continues to show up in modern stories is the idea of political and religious oppression. Borges, Lu Xun and Mahfouz describe three entirely different cultures that experience similar struggles. In fact, the stories might not say oppression directly, but “The Garden of Forking Paths“, “Diary of a Madman“, and “Zaabalawi” all give the reader a clear picture of the issue of domination. In fact, when comparing the three stories, it becomes evident that the idea of political and religious tyranny is, in fact, a universal one. The way the individual characters respond to the concept is a common one, the way the individual characters respond to the pressure of their surrounding cultures differs. I have seen loyalty, honor, persistence, hope, and respect for elders, in all three stories.

“The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Borges does not describe political and religious oppression in a straight-forward way, yet the underlying theme is a critical part of the main character’s personality. Dr. Yu Tsun, is a Chinese man who is a spy for the Germans. This is ironic, since his country has been invaded by these people, and he clearly states in the story that he does not care for them (1020). His response to being politically restrained is to show the Germans he is a worthwhile person, that he is intelligent enough to provide them with information (1020). Another interpretation of the story relates to the allegory of the labyrinth. Dr. Stephen Albert deciphers the riddle of the book and the labyrinth, deciding that they are one and the same (1023). This labyrinth represents the idea of the infinite amount of choices a person could make that affect the outcome of the future. Dr. Albert suggests that all of these possibilities exist, which explains the confusion of the book. Dr. Tsun illustrates this reality when he puts Dr. Albert in order to communicate information to his Chief (1025). This allegory can be applied directly to the repression of people. For example, the tyrants could choose not to dominate other people. Indeed, the tyrant could possibly not be born at all. More specifically, Dr. Tsun could choose to respond differently to his own oppression, and fight the Germans, or he could choose not to kill Dr. Albert and try to communicate the information in some other way. Personal choice plays an important role in this story, and, as Borges indicates, choice is also important specifically in regards to the idea of people being oppressed.…