Lit and Place Response #6 “Babylon Revisited”

In Yi-Fu Tuan’s chapter, “Time in Experiential Space,” he discusses the various differences and similarities of “time” and “space.” “The experience of space and time is largely subconscious” (Tuan 118). The notions of Space and Time should be viewed as figurative terms, opposed to their literal translations according to Tuan. In F Scott Fitzgerald’s Babylon Revisited, the main character merely needed patience in order to satisfy his well being. He wanted his child back, but had to first recover from his bitter ways.

Charlie, the main character, understood that he had gone awry, and had to shape up if he ever expected to be the primary care taker of his child. Subconsciously he believed that the time would never pass, his space between him and his daughter was growing further and further apart throughout his long days. This was what he believed. His mind forced him to believe that “time” was in fact never ending, and that his figurative space between him and his child was never to be how it used to be, or how he envisioned it would eventually be.

Fitzgerald’s short story depicted a life of a rather depressed individual, unable to alter his personality. He couldn’t understand why his family could not forget about his past transgressions. As bad as they may have been, he was under the impression that he had changed, but what he failed to realize was that time will inevitably heal all of his figurative wounds.

Tuan states that our subconscious discerns the difference between time and space. As difficult as it may be to understand, our mental state decides what we will do, become, and believe our selves to be. It also conceptualizes our views of the world. Babylon Revisited was a great story. It truly shed some valuable light on several pressing issues that so many face on a daily basis. I sympathize with Charlie; he wanted what’s best for his child. Was he able to give what’s best for her to her is a completely different story.

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