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The Gospel According To Garc�a By Ariel Dorfman

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Learning to live authentically is not an easy task, as is attempting to define the notion of authenticity. Staying true to oneself is not something that can be achieved by following some twelve-step program. Rather, it requires one to carefully reflect on day-to-day life. In “The Gospel According to García” by Ariel Dorfman, the character of García challenges his students to do just that, sometimes by unconventional and roundabout means. However, the author presents not the enigmatic García himself, but rather the traumatic effects on his class after this teacher vanishes. Through this depiction, the reader learns that García drilled into his students the qualities of one who leads an authentic life, seemingly based on real experiences earlier in his life when he was pitted against authority. It is evident that García draws a clear distinction between the lessons on life he deems important and the nooks and crannies of education he does not. Dorfman parallels this distinction by presenting a sharp contrast between García and the substitute teacher. This allows the reader to have a lucid view of García’s values, ones that are all derived from an authentic life and ones that he attempts to instill in his students. For instance, one of these values, termed “No. 4 of García’s golden rules,” challenges people to consciously select the situations that warrant apology, rather than to apologize simply as a matter of etiquette, as the substitute does. Additionally, García encourages
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