- For readers to better understand the movement of the plot and the core context of the story, it is important to analyze the symbolism embedded in the plot. The word circular in the title conveys the metaphor of time and space, the parallel universe simulating the never-ending cycle of dream, reality and perception.
- The purpose is to seek for worthy souls to participate in the universe.
- The protagonist in the story is the dreamer himself who moves the story forward by dreaming of a man’s life. Even though the protagonist does not function in a traditional manner he still serves the purpose of realizing the context of story.
- Ironic in the sense that the dreamer had an epiphany of sensing a growing intelligence within him. The protagonist is an individual that who is capable of dreaming and so is his students who are also individuals that has the same capability to create the same character as the protagonist. Even if the student contradicted him who he loved the most, his goal is not to endear the students, but to use them as his audience. Therefore, the irony is the individualism that entails each person’s dream.
“Death and the Compass”
- The story conforms the usual expectations of a murder mystery because of the detective type of atmosphere embedded in the story’s context. The story generally encompasses structural conceits of detective stories where the essential presence of the culprit and the crime investigator exist in an enigma needs solving.
- The first paragraph enacts as a proleptic move because it defines death and futility in the story. By definition proleptic means the meaning can be fully realized at the end of the story. The way Death and Compass encompasses such characteristic was due to the fact that it had revealed identities of the involved individuals and accessories to the crime, which at the end substantiated by the plot.
- Lonrot is a typical detective analogous to the characters Dupin and Holmes because of the usual nature of his profession that involves investigating and solving mysteries of the crime. However, deficiencies have caused Lonhort to fail including his method of reasoning. His reluctant nature to directly engage the matter and use of pure reasoning caused him to be trapped to his death and fail.
- As conventional readers of crime and mystery fictions, we would be able to anticipate the stages of the investigation by means of the clues provided within the plot. For example, if the investigation led to a discovery of the culprit’s hiding place, the next stage of the investigation will require identifying the connections of the confiscated items in the hide out that may point to the identity of the criminal. Readers greatly relate to the investigation stages because the process involve is synonymous to a real detective work.
- Although Lonhort met his tragic end in the story, it was still him that was able to solve the mystery through his methods of reading compass, reasoning and mathematical perspectives. It was somehow in contrast to the generic expectation of the reader in a typical crime and mystery fiction. However, the investigation itself conforms to the series of events that are generally anticipated in a similar genre.
The Gardens of Forking Path
- The title of the story encapsulates the central metaphor the literally translates to a garden. The plot features a garden in which the protagonist spent his childhood an idyllic space that serves as place of seclusion. Besides, the protagonist’s longing for the past links to the garden that was mentioned in the title, which provides a hint to the significance of the garden to the plot and its meaning as a universal transcendence to the time element of the story.
- The narrator is Yu Tsun and the manner of narrating the story encompasses a form of deposition. A character that is both conflicted and bitter, he belongs in a powerful and wealthy Chinese family and used to be an English teacher in China. Since he narrates the story from his prison, it is apparent that he is full of remorse and hopelessly dreaming for an alternate reality by remembering the garden. There is a central narrator who is also Yu Tsun and a third person that narrates the objectives, which implies that the story has two narrators.
- Dr. Yu Tsun is also the protagonist in the story, as the main character that turned from an English teacher to a German spy depicts the conflict and the plot in the story.
- Dr. Stephen Albert relates to the plot of the story only for his name. He is the embodiment of an erudite, a scholar, and solitary and patient individual. Albert resembles the same lifestyle of his idol Ts’ui Pen and similarly meets the same end.
- Ts’ui Pen is the protagonist’s great-grandfather; he is also the former governor of the Yunnan province in China. His importance to the protagonist is that he was the subject of conversation between the protagonist and the Dr. Stephen Albert. Although is just merely a memory in the story his legacy still lingers in the mind of the protagonist and Albert’s.
- After reading the story, it can be summarized into a single word “labyrinth”.