Symbolism Connecting... Essay

Submitted By adavi82270
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Pages: 6

Symbolism Connecting “The Gospel According To Mark” and the Bible Symbolism and setting often play a large role in developing a deeper, more engaging story. The setting helps to set the mood for the reader and the symbols help to convey a deeper meaning that the author feels is important. An allegory combines both setting and symbolism to create a “story within a story” as a way to convey the previously mentioned deeper meaning. “The Gospel According to Mark” is a great example of an allegory, in which the story of Jesus Christ is told through the life of Espinosa. Jorge Luis Borges uses symbolism and setting in “The Gospel According to Mark” to portray the parallels between the life of Baltasar Espinosa and the events of the Bible, more specifically the life of Christ, through nature, the teaching of the scriptures, and the atonement of sins. Nature plays a role as a flooding storm, in both the story and the Bible, changing the setting and signaling to the reader that something of importance is about to happen. In the Bible, threats of great storms were used to warn people to change their ways and repent. One such storm was the great flood in the Old Testament where God told Noah to build an arc in the middle of the desert and tell the world to repent of their sins. Noah told the sinful people of the impending doom, and then he waited with his family and two of every kind of animal on the arc for the rain to begin. The people of the time did not repent or believe that there would be enough rainfall to create a flood, so the flooding storm was brought forth and swept mankind away. Thus the world was purged of its sins. The flooding of the storm in Baltasar’s story reflects that of the floods in the Bible, because the settings were similar: it was dry, hot, and had very little rain. The amount of rainfall and the dramatic switch to cold temperatures were not expected in this area where the ranch was located; therefore they were not prepared for a storm of this magnitude, much like the people in the Biblical flood. When the rain began to fall, the flooding began almost immediately and there was no chance of escaping it. The Gutres had to decide which animals to save and which had to be left behind, much like Noah and his family. The flood cut off the ranch from the rest of the world, as if the people on it were the last in the world. The flood is the author’s way of foreshadowing the gruesome end of Baltasar, in its reference to the purging of sins. After the flood, Baltasar transitions from an outsider to a leader and “master” of the house, creating a parallel between his character and that of Jesus Christ, who went from being an outsider to the revered religious leader and Master. Baltasar is a city boy who only comes to the country to visit his cousin out of a lack of anything better to do. The Gutres view him as an outsider who does not know anything of country life and hard work. Before the storm, his cousin goes on a cattle run, leaving Baltasar in charge with the notion that nothing of importance will happen in his absence. Once the storm takes place, Baltasar is forced in to a leadership position because he now has employees to look after and must hold his own on the ranch. The Gutres family begins to respect him and call him master. In the Bible, Jesus has experienced similar circumstances. Jesus, for the first thirty years of his life, is a lowly carpenter from a small town and he gradually gains the respect of the people as a religious teacher and is often called Master. He transitions from an outsider to leader in a relatively short amount of time, much like Espinosa who became the master of the house in a matter of days. The parallels between Baltasar and Jesus again appear when he begins to teach the scriptures to the Gutres, much like Jesus teaches the apostles and the Jewish people by teaching them the same thing in different ways until they understood the lesson. Baltasar reads Mark to the Gutres…