Lincoln Michel's Short Story 'Our Education'

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Purgatory, Home of the Forsaken In “Our Education” the narrator of the short story battles with a world without teachers, a world without worship. While he tried to live his life in a new society without any higher authority in charge he in secret kept his faith in hoping that the adults would come back. The other students however challenge his belief of the teachers in this new dystopian society and place the title of heretic on those who insist on believing on the very idea that the teachers existed in the first place. Lincoln Michel’s short story, “Our Education” presents the argument that the absence of a religious deity leads to a world without solace, a world that would instead resemble a dystopian society. When describing the school that the students are trapped inside it resembles the biblical world of purgatory, a place in which the forsaken are sent to. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who,…show more content…
That one day soon they will surface and either reward or punish us for our actions. The old beliefs reemerging.” This leads to the idea that no matter how hard a forsaken or dystopian society tries to eradicate the old beliefs of a deity or belief the ideas of the past still linger. The narrator holds on to the ideas of teachers being real even when he was sold out by Timmy and presented in front of the schools new leader Bulger for his treason. “This heretic has turned his back on all of us,” Bulger shouts. The student body has assembled […] they are silent and watching. “But we aren’t unreasonable people. In fact, we want to give him a choice.” When presented to the new school council the narrator could have lied to save himself, but his belief lead him down the path of self damnation. He would rather be tried for his belief than be stuck in the purgatory state that the students were forsaken

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