Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
As Andres waits for classes to begin on his first day as a medical student at the Institute of San Isidro, he runs into an old friend, Julio Aracil. They soon realize that they are enrolled in the same course of study, and they attend a lecture together. To Andres’ dismay, the class resembles a sideshow and the professor is like a clown, a situation representative of Andres’ overall experience at San Isidro. His enthusiasm for his studies is soon dampened. Consequently, he fails an important chemistry exam and becomes altogether indifferent toward medicine. In his second year, he attends a dissection class where the students take much pleasure in cutting bodies to pieces or in putting small bows and paper hats on corpses. He looks forward to a third-year physiology class but is disappointed by a stupid text and an inadequate instructor. In his next year, Andres studies under the famous Dr. Letamendi and is momentarily impressed and excited by Letamendi’s application of mathematics to biology. He is, at least, until a friend tells him that the entire concept is a joke, the vulgar rhetorical games of a prestidigitator. Nevertheless, as a result, Andres becomes curious about philosophy, particularly the writings of Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer. He finds the latter especially convincing during his internship in the hospitals of Madrid the following year, where he witnesses unimaginable abuse and misery.
Aracil takes a liking to Andres and...
(The entire section is 1331 words.)
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