I'm reading "The House of Asterion" by Jorge Luis Borges and I have a question about the effect and significance of the point of view in the story. 

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Borges uses point of view to enhance the similarity of his story to the labyrinth it describes. Like the narrator of many Edgar Allan Poe stories (“The Tell-Tale Heart,” for instance), this narrator addresses the reader directly, as if confiding in us; he also seems to be perhaps mentally unbalanced,...

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Borges uses point of view to enhance the similarity of his story to the labyrinth it describes. Like the narrator of many Edgar Allan Poe stories (“The Tell-Tale Heart,” for instance), this narrator addresses the reader directly, as if confiding in us; he also seems to be perhaps mentally unbalanced, or, at best, obsessed with his life in the labyrinth. It is the nature of this life that interests Borges. The narrator declares that his house has “fourteen” doors (a “footnote“ suggests paradoxically that “14” might mean infinity), that are open all the time; anyone may come or go as they please, including himself (he calls the idea that he might be a prisoner “a ridiculous falsehood”). He insists that his house is unique in all that world, and that he himself is also unique. For this reason he “is not interested in what one man may transmit to other men“—he is a singular individual, whose only real companion is an imaginary second version of himself. There is a sense in which we understand Asterion’s house to be the world itself; that the maze he lives in and the isolation he feels are not unique, but on the contrary, something he shares with all men.

The idea of the ”redeemer” who will release him from this life gains added irony when the point of view shifts in the last line, and suddenly we hear Theseus express shock that the narrator, the Minotaur, “scarcely defended itself.” Theseus presumably slays the Minotaur to save the youth of Athens from being sacrificed to the beast, but the story suggests that the Minotaur, in fact, is what Theseus “redeems.”

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It's safe to say that Borges was obsessed with literal and metaphorical labyrinths. The story begins in the first person point of view. The narrator calls himself Asterion and with the introductory line, it seems to indicate that he is a prince who is not allowed to leave his castle. The narrator goes on to defend himself. He claims that he is not a prisoner even though he never leaves his house. He says that claims about his madness and misanthropy (hating mankind) are just the result of the public's contempt for him.

The footnote adds that fourteen actually means infinite and therefore, there are an infinite number of doors. This is according to Asterion. He, Asterion, also says, "The house is the same size as the world; or rather it is the world." Having never left his house, it would be "the world" to him. We get this unique perspective from the narrator, a being who lives a hermetic life in a seemingly endless labyrinth of a home. Is his perspective based upon psychosis as an effect of being a prisoner or is he actually living in a gigantic labyrinth from which he can not escape? 

This story is reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe's writing. We don't know if the narrator is misunderstood. It isn't until the final line that we get a clue about who the narrator is or why he lives this way. In the last few lines, the narration shifts from the first person perspective of Asterion to the first person perspective of Theseus. From this line, we learn that Theseus has just destroyed the Minotaur. And from this, we can conclude that the first bulk of the story is narrated by the Minotaur. Theseus is the "redeemer" the Minotaur spoke about. Killing the Minotaur was redeeming him or freeing him from his labyrinthine prison. 

Borges chooses to consider the Minotaur's perspective so the reader can get the sense of his experience. Borges is playing with ideas like the labyrinth, infinity, and perspective. The Minotaur says his house is the world because that is all he's ever known. This is, perhaps, an allusion to Plato's Allegory of the Cave. In this allegory, people are in a cave and they are chained in such a way that they have no knowledge of the outside world. Borges was always interested in how people see the world differently. He was also interested in how perspective is limited or filtered. He uses the Minotaur's perspective to explore these ideas. 

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