The South (Borges story) Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The South.
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The South (Borges story) Summary & Study Guide Description

The South (Borges story) Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The South (Borges story) by .

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Borges, Jorge Luis. "The South." Ficciones. Grove Press, 1994, p. 167 – 174. First published: La Nacion, February 8, 1953.

The story begins with the narrator recounting the story of Juan Dahlmann’s grandparents, one of whom was a German immigrant, and the other was an Argentinian soldier. Dahlmann had kept some things that had been passed down to him from his Argentinian side, such as a sword and a painting. However, the most important inheritance was a ranch in the countryside. Dahlmann had been so busy in the city that he had never had the chance to visit the ranch, so he decided to stay on the ranch once he had time.

Dahlmann bought a copy of “The Thousand and One Nights” and rushed up the stairs of his apartment, severely injuring his head on a wayward door that was left ajar. Throughout the next eight days, Dahlmann felt feverish, until the doctor took him to the sanitarium for treatment. After being anesthetized, Dahlmann was strapped to a hospital bed in a cell, where he was injected with an array of drugs. He was in extreme pain and discomfort for the duration of his treatment.

When his treatment was over, Dahlmann returned to his journey by train. He passed through the city, which made him feel euphoric, but he was eager to arrive at the South, where his ranch resided.

The train stopped at an early station, so Dahlmann entered a general store for some food. However, the other patrons started throwing crumbs at Dahlmann. When Dahlmann tried to leave, the store’s owner called him by name, telling him to ignore the patrons. This caused Dahlmann to confront the patrons, which led to one of the patrons challenging Dahlmann to a knife fight. Before Dahlmann could reply, an old cowboy who appeared to represent the culture of the South threw him a knife, sealing his fate. Dahlmann followed the patrons outside, knowing that his chances of survival were minimal.

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