Collected Stories Setting & Symbolism

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Limbo

In mythology, limbo is the place where souls go before being assigned either to heaven or hell. Earlier fiction writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, created spine-chilling tales of horror that built upon the notion of a netherworld between life and death ("The Premature Burial" and "The Tell-Tale Heart"), but Garcia Marquez creates a new twist on this theme by allowing his characters, or personages, to glide freely between the two worlds and to experience emotions and thoughts in both. This new level of creepiness probably serves as a reminder of the dichotomies of the modern world, with all of its freedoms and choices, versus the old world where beliefs and behaviors were much less rigid. In the limbo world of the first third of this collection, most of the characters are nameless and faceless, their exact geographic location difficult to pin down. In Garcia Marquez' limbo time...

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This section contains 714 words
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Buy the Collected Stories Study Guide
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