What is the concept of infinity in "The Library of Babel"?

gsenviro | Student

Jorge Luis Borges's "The Library of Babel" is a story of an infinite library where all the information available is stored. Everything about this library is infinite, be it the identical hexagons, staircases, book shelves, paths, corridors, man, and most importantly the books. All the books contain some combination of the same set of 20-some alphabets and each book is unique. The library is so infinite that men have spent their entire lives and still covered only few cubicles, similar to what the narrator expects.

Everything in the books appears to be gibberish and meaningless, yet everyone hopes that the knowledge of everything is contained in the library. In a philosophical sense, the library represents infinite information, unrestricted access to which has made everything appear gibberish. Something similar is experienced as a result of the vast knowledge available in this digital age, which has led to a lot of confusion about what is right or wrong and, in effect, has affected man's ability to perceive anything meaningful. 

Even in the infinity, there is hope that someday someone will find the book of books, an ultimate compendium that will have all the answers; so there is still hope for humanity in the infinite. 

Read the study guide:
The Library of Babel

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question