OJML  Vol.2 No.2 , June 2012
Waiting for Redemption in The House of Asterion: A Stylistic Analysis
Author(s) Martin Tilney
ABSTRACT
The House of Asterion is a short story by Jorge Luis Borges that retells the classical myth of the Cretan Minotaur from an alternate perspective. The House of Asterion features the Minotaur, aka Asterion, who waits for “redemption” in his labyrinth. Many literary critics have suggested that the Borgesian labyrinth is a metaphor for human existence and the universe itself. Others have correctly interpreted Asterion’s ironic death at the hands of Theseus as his eagerly awaited redemption. Borges’ subversion of the reader’s expectations becomes the departure point for a systemic functional stylistic analysis of the story in one of its English translations, revealing how deeper-level meanings in the text are construed through its lexicogrammatical structure. A systemic functional stylistic reading suggests that on a higher level of reality, Asterion’s redemption is not only the freedom that death affords, but also a transformation that transcends his fictional universe. Asterion’s twofold redemption is brought about not only by the archetypal hero Theseus but also by the reader, who through the process of reading enables Asterion’s emancipation from the labyrinth.
Cite this paper
Tilney, M. (2012). Waiting for Redemption in The House of Asterion: A Stylistic Analysis. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 2, 51-56. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2012.22007.
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