Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius - “Ficciones” by Jorge Luis Borges

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius - “Ficciones” by Jorge Luis Borges

Exploring the Enigma: A Thorough Character Analysis in Jorge Luis Borges' "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"

Jorge Luis Borges's "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" is a thought-provoking and challenging short story from his collection "Ficciones." The story, which is presented as an encyclopedic entry, describes a fantastical and enigmatic universe that permeates reality. We will examine the character interactions in the narrative in this analysis, with a particular emphasis on the mysterious Herbert Ashe.

Character Type Identification

In the story's setting, Herbert Ashe is a static character. In contrast to the constantly changing and bizarre environments of Tlön, he stays a constant presence, untouched by the bizarre transformations taking on all around him. This static quality has a specific function, providing a degree of steadiness in the middle of the story's turbulence.

Examine the Character's Position in the Narrative

Even though Ashe isn't the typical protagonist, his presence is essential to how things work out. He acts as a catalyst, starting the story and igniting the discovery of the made-up world of Tlön. The fact that he is a professor and a scholar adds to his importance in the discussion of the story's topics.

Analyze the Past of the Character

Although Borges doesn't give Ashe a lot of background information, we do know that he teaches at the University of Santa Fe. His academic training suggests a serious interest in learning as well as a potential susceptibility to the fantasy's draw, which eventually causes him to become entangled with Tlön.

Examine Personality Traits of the Character

Ashe is portrayed as having an intellectual and curious nature. His interest in creating an alternate reality is demonstrated by his engagement in the enigmatic Orbis Tertius project, which demonstrates his quest for knowledge. However, because Borges used Ashe more as a plot device than a fully realized person, his character lacks the depth found in conventional characterizations.

Assess the Characters' Interactions

Ashe's contacts with other scholars and intellectuals are the main way that his interactions are noted in passing. Although his personal relationships are not explored in the novel, his professional connections play a crucial role in paving the way for the eventual revelation of the Orbis Tertius conspiracy.

Examine the Behavior of the Character

Ashe acts mostly in support of his academic interests. His participation in the enigmatic Orbis Tertius project and his subsequent disappearance serve as the main plot points. Through his activities, readers are able to explore Tlön and experience the mysteries as they unfold in a virtual world.

Determine the Conflicts of the Character

Ashe struggles inside because of his insatiable curiosity. The collision between the logical reality he lives in and the magical world of Tlön that captures his imagination is what causes the struggle. The larger battle that runs throughout the entire story—between reason and imagination, fact and fiction—is a reflection of this psychological struggle.

Evaluate Any Changes or Growth in the Character

Ashe is a static character in the story and doesn't really grow or evolve. His goal is less transformative and more instrumental. But the personalities that surround him are prompted to investigate the enigmatic Tlön by his disappearance.

Provide Evidence to Back Up Your Analysis

Ashe's role and traits are amply supported by Borges' encyclopedic story structure and storytelling style. The general comprehension of his nature is enhanced by direct statements and descriptions, such as "Herbert Ashe, the English poet, disappeared," which serve as explicit references to his acts.

Conclude on the Significance of the Character

In summary, even though Herbert Ashe isn't a particularly deep character, he plays a critical part in launching the investigation into the bizarre realm of Tlön. He represents the meeting point of the results of unbridled creativity and intellectual inquiry. The story's thematic investigation of truth, fabrication, and the intellectual capacity of humans is aided by Ashe's unchanging character.

Borges used Ashe as a means of exploring more profound philosophical issues, drawing readers into a world where the lines between fact and fiction are blurred. Herbert Ashe becomes a symbol of both the transformational power of ideas and the perils of losing oneself in the maze of imagination in this way. His immobility stands in stark contrast to Tlön's dynamic and constantly changing scenery, highlighting the fine line that Borges deftly draws between reality and imagination throughout the story.

Herbert Ashe may be a static character in the vast tapestry "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," but his presence initiates a dynamic investigation of the boundaries of human comprehension, the nature of reality, and the tremendous influence of ideas on our knowledge of the outside world.