Narrative Style in "The Lottery in Babylon" Term Paper by scribbler

Narrative Style in "The Lottery in Babylon"
An analysis of the narration in Jorge Luis Borges' "The Lottery in Babylon".
# 152369 | 1,064 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Feb 03, 2013 in English (Analysis) , Literature (General)

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This paper relates that deciphering meaning from Borges' sophisticated language and complicated narrative constructs is pivotal to experiencing his fictions as he meant them to be experienced. The paper discusses Borges' masterful understanding of narrative flow and examines the flow and structure of the narration in Borges' work, "The Lottery in Babylon." The paper highlights how Borges uses the narration to demonstrate the systematic disintegration of Babylonian society.

From the Paper:

"Borges had a masterful understanding of narrative flow and the power of a shift in perspective or tone to highlight, disrupt, or even dismantle the architecture of his prose. This understanding is put to startling effect in his short story, "The Lottery in Babylon." In this tale of the dissolution of civil order into chance and superstition, Borges uses one sentence - a seemingly innocuous one - to suspend the narrative from a single point above the shifty, slippery motion of the storyline.
"The story begins in first person narration, with an introduction to the narrator's past life in Babylon where he experienced the complete range of triumph and degradation thanks to that society's mysterious Lottery. It is implied in this introduction that the narrator's circumstances have recently changed in a way that has prompted him to consider "with some bewilderment" the strange nature of his earlier life (Borges 101). The narrator does not shed any light on this change in circumstances except to say that he is "far from Babylon and its beloved customs" (Ibid).
"After this brief introduction, Borges promptly plunges us directly into the history of the Lottery and the Company that controls it. The first person voice slips away as the tale of the Lottery unfolds. Step by step, Borges leads the reader away from the narrator in his present circumstances and into the systematic disintegration of Babylonian society."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bell-Villada, Gene. Borges and his Fiction: A Guide to his Mind and Art. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999. Print.
  • Borges, Jorge Luis. Collected Fictions. Tr. Andrew Hurley. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1998. Print.
  • Ross, Robert: "It Cannot NOT Be There: Borges and Australia's Peter Carey." Borges and his Successors: The Borgesian Impact on Literature and the Arts. Edna Aizenberg, ed. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1990. Print.

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