Borges' "The Gospel According to Mark": Plot
Borges' "The Gospel According to Mark" has a plot related to misunderstanding. The story is about a man taking in an illiterate worker and his family after a storm drives them from their home. Putting them up in a tool shed, he entertains them at night with stories of the Gospel's of Mark. Soon, however, the storm drives the family to the house with the protagonist, Baltasar Espinosa. In the plot of this story, there are many parallels between Espinosa and Jesus. The first that is seen is Espinosa's kindness and ability at public speaking, which was also possessed by Christ. Also in the first paragraph there is foreshadowing. Espinosa is thirty-three, which is the same age that Jesus was when he was crucified. The next parallel that can be seen is the flood that drives the Gutres from their home. The flood is also seen in the Bible when Noah was warned of the flood by God and was told to save two of each animal on his ark. The bible comes into play when Espinosa finds an old English Bible and begins reading to them from it each night. The next parallel is seen when Espinosa saves the Gutres' pet lamb. This is paralleled in the bible by the story of how one lamb out of a
After asking his blessings, they then turn on him, taking on the roles of the Roman soldiers. The Gutres even treasured the crumbs that spilt from his plate, waiting for him to turn around before they snatched them up. They believe that they will be absolved of the sin of murdering Espinosa, just as the Roman soldiers were absolved of theirs. The Gutres were soon let into the house when the tool shed that they were staying in was damaged by the rain, the beams of the roof being broken. As the Gutres ask him if the Roman soldiers who nailed Christ to the cross were saved, Espinosa has to answer yes. The Gutres have taken all of the stories that Espinosa read to them and turned him into a modern day Christ, sacrificing him so that they may be absolved of the sins they have committed. hundred became lost, and the Shepard went to save him. As is seen in the plot of the story, there are many parallels seen between Christ and Espinosa, which may have led the Gutres to crucify him. The Gutres also take to following him around wherever he goes, akin to how Christ's disciples followed him. As he walks to the galleries, the Gutres follow him, and ask his blessings, as Christ's disciples asked blessings of Him. Espinosa took her into his bed, never knowing her name. The plot twist at the end of the story belies the innocence of the Gutres. Later that day, as Espinosa naps, he is awakened to the sounds of hammering. The misunderstanding may have been furthered by the Gutres obvious ignorance and illiteracy.