The South (Borges story) Symbols & Objects

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"The Thousand and One Nights"

Dahlmann’s copy of the book, “The Thousand and One Nights,” represents Dahlmann’s intermittent disconnection from reality. In the story, whenever Dahlmann feels threatened in his real life, he attempts to read the book. Furthermore, whenever he is comfortable with reality, he is unable to read the book. For example, when Dahlmann is on the train to the countryside, he is euphoric about the scenery around him, so he is distracted from the book. However, when the country louts bully him, Dahlmann tries to ignore them and read the book to ignore his stressful reality.

Sharp Objects

Sharp objects, specifically blades and needles, represent the glorification of death and mortality. Borges introduces this on the first page of the story. After describing Flores’s death by lancing on the battlefield, the narrator reveals that Dahlmann endorses the side of the “romantic...

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This section contains 512 words
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Buy The South (Borges story) Study Guide
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