The Gospel According to Mark

Topics: Character, Jesus, The Garden of Forking Paths Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: November 8, 2011
In Jean Luis Borges’ short story "The Gospel According to Mark", we see the main character Baltasar Espinosa in subtle yet powerful comparison to Jesus Christ. Borges uses the formal aspects of setting, symbolism, & tone to explore a main theme of Christianity and the influence it has on those who don’t fully understand it. He puts his main character in a setting that allows him to become Christ like in the eyes of the primitive Gutres family. There are many examples of the theme throughout the story. When Borges’ introduces Espinosa to the reader, he describes a man who has “almost unlimited kindness” (Borges) and is intelligent yet unmotivated by the demands of the world. He moves through life unfazed by other’s expectations of him. When pressured to join in something he isn’t passionate about, he is willing to stand up for his beliefs, and not succumb to the will of others. In these traits Borges expresses a Christ like undertone within Espinosa. There a few less subtle tones such as the age of both men at the time of their death, the undying worship from others, and the way in which they meet their demise. The tone of the story is one of tragic familiarity. As the reader progresses through the events of the narrative, there is a feeling of an ending that is avoidable and senseless, yet inevitable. Having his story take place in such a remote part of the world allows for the theme to be more evident than if it were set in a larger community. The ignorance of the Gurtes’ is possible due to their lack of education and resources. Borges places his main character in an area where the concept of the world is primitive at best. As a result, Espinos unknowingly introduces them to an idea that ultimately leads to his death. The complete isolation due to the flooded roads helps to escalate a situation that may have otherwise been averted. Some Christians believe it is best to be isolated from other religious ideas outside of what they believe to be true. As...
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