Collected Fictions Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Collected Fictions.
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Getting Lost in a Labyrinth

The theme of many of the author's stories is people getting lost in a maze or a labyrinth that they or someone else construct. In the story "The Garden of Forking Paths" the traitor Dr. Yu Tsun gets lost in a series of intellectual labyrinths, before carrying out his mission of murder. Even more intriguing is "A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain" in which it is hypothesized that a writer could write a novel with an alternative ending, with the reader forced to search through a labyrinth of different endings. Often these labyrinths and mazes have the meaning of going back to the beginning in an endless cycle. These thoughts are related to the philosophical debate on whether civilization in going straight forward, in the direction of progress, or only can if the right choices are made, or not. The alternative view...

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This section contains 759 words
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