15 December 2017
GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS
“The Garden of Forking Paths” simply
implies that a text, a work of fiction, can be a labyrinth
(Weed). It refers to a lot of occurrences and loops, which makes us the readers,
unsure of the difference between reality and illusion. Stephen Albert, studied
Ts’ui Pen’s work for some time, and he told Yu Tsun that the garden of forking
paths and the novel were the same. In other words, whenever the characters came
to a point at which more than one outcome was possible, both outcomes occurred.
Madden worked for the English armed forces, during a period when the relationship
between the two nations were bad. This meant that he had something to prove to
his superiors because he was Irish. The English didn’t trust the Irish, so that
meant he was suspected of betraying them. So, Yu Tsun didn’t blame Captain Madden
for hunting him down.
Garden of forking paths is a metaphor in the sense where the novel itself can
be looked at as a labyrinth, Yu Tsun spent his childhood in a garden and he
also had to follow the garden which was a maze, to get to Dr. Alberts library. The
garden which was a labyrinth, appeared in so many parts of the story showing
how the interpretations were limitless. The labyrinth was also an imagined
setting, that took place in Yu Tsun’s mind as a reoccurring maze. Dr. Albert’s
solution was that the book was the labyrinth.
states that Ts’ui Pen had wanted to create an
infinite labyrinth, as well as a cryptic letter stating, “I leave to
several futures my garden of forking paths” (Wikipedia.com), which he did.
At first, when you read that, it seems a bit confusing, but as you continue to
read the book you get to understand what he meant. Doctor Albert realized that
the “garden of forking paths” was the novel, and that the forking also
took place in time (Wikipedia.com).
compared to some other work of fiction, the character could choose one
alternative at each decision point and eliminate all the others, Ts’ui Pen’s
novel attempted to show a world where all the possible outcomes of an event could
occur at the same time, each leading to more possibilities and outcomes. Stephen
Albert, also said that the separate paths do sometimes come together again, but
as the result of a different reason; for example, he says, in one possible timeline
Doctor Tsun has come to his house as an enemy, in another as a friend. This,
just shows how understanding the book goes a long way in interpreting it.
Weed, Ethan. “A Labyrinth of
Symbols Exploring ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’.” borges.pitt.edu. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2017.
“The Garden of Forking Paths.”
en.wikipedia.org. Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2017.