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Book of Sand Essay

1.The book had affected the narrator to a great extent. At first he did not care for the book, until the stranger selling Bibles said “the number of pages in this book is literally infinite. No page is the first page; no page is the last”. This intrigued the narrator’s mind. After he had bought the book, he began investigating. He noted down things in the book. He began losing sleep from the investigation and when he actually got sleep, his dreams were about the book. As it states in the short story, “At night, during the rare intervals spared me by insomnia, I dreamed of the book”. He had grown an obsession with the book, which altered his lifestyle and forced him to hide the book in the library.

2.The literary device that the author uses to compare the book and himself to was a metaphor. When the narrator said, “it was cold consolation to think that I, who looked upon it with my eye and fondled it with my ten flesh-and-bone fingers, was no less monstrous than the book”, this proved that he was comparing himself to the monstrous book. The meaning and significance of this metaphor states that he was no different from the book. His mind was now as dense and endless. The book carried infinite secrets and toyed with its readers. As it stated in the short story, “I felt it was a nightmare thing, an obscene thing, and that it defiled and corrupted reality”. The narrator felt that the deadly secrets that emanated from the book were all getting to his head. His fear of infinite evil caused him to hide the demonic book and run away from the eternal thoughts.

3.In the short story, “The Book of Sand” by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator states that he had become a “prisoner of the book”. This is evidently shown when he obsessively investigates the book. He barely slept because all he could think about was the book, and he barely left his house. As it’s shown, “I had but few friends left, and those I stopped seeing. A prisoner of the book, I hardly left my house”. He became isolated and trapped in the secrets and mystery of the book.

4.The salesman’s previous warning to the narrator about the book as he stated, “Look at it well. You will never see it again”, had come true in this short story. The book was infinite, full of endless amounts of illustrations and had no beginning or end. When the narrator said, “They never repeated themselves”, this proved that it was impossible for anyone to revisit the same page. Therefore the salesman’s previous warning had come true.

5.The author of the short story, Jorge Luis Borges, illustrates the idea of giving up the things we should have valued but instead take for granted for the sole purpose of pleasing one’s obsession to obtain things that will end up destroying humanity regardless of the fulfillment of curiosity. In the beginning, the narrator didn’t seem to care about The Book of Sand. It was not until the salesman had said that it had infinite pages that caught the attention of the narrator. He now wanted the book and would pay a great amount for it.

When the narrator offered a trade, “I will offer you the full sum of my pension. . . and Wyclif’s black-letter Bible”, it proved that he would give up his valuables to get a hold of that book, which little did he know would actually destroy him. He grew an obsession for the book. As it states in the story, “At night, during the rare intervals spared me by insomnia, I dreamed of the book”. This provides evidence of the fact that he had been so extremely fixated on the diabolical book that even when his body was asleep, his mind was still obsessing over it. When he realizes the mistake he made, giving into his curiosity, he decides to get rid of the monstrous book. However at this point he had already lost his friends and the things he valued. The book had taken up a great extent of his time that could not be taken back, because unlike The Book of Sand, his life was not infinite.

6.The literary device used is a metaphor. I think this because when the narrator says “the best place to hide a leaf is in the forest”, he is referring to a way to hide The Book of Sand. At first he considered destroying the evil thing. Although he thought that the “burning of an infinite book might be similarly infinite, and suffocate the planet in smoke”. Therefore he thought to hide the book in plain sight. Hiding a leaf in the forest is like hiding a book in a library. He hid the book on one of the library’s damp shelves in the basement and tried not to notice where exactly he put it. He did this so he and anyone else wouldn’t be able to find the monstrous book. He didn’t want to be a “prisoner of the book” anymore. The book had ruined his life and took away time, the most precious thing we have in life. He didn’t want to be trapped by the isolation of the book and so he hid it where it could never be found.

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