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"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," Is A Representation Of Human Nature

999 words - 4 pages

"Elisenda bought some satin pumps with high heels and many dresses of iridescent silk, the kind worn on Sunday by the most desirable women in those times. The chicken coop was the only thing that didn't receive any attention." This quote is the first of many that shows Elisenda and others in the story as selfish. This is a reoccurring theme that can be found throughout the story. "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a representation of the selfishness of humanity. This is heavily emphasized by three major points: people come to see the angel for their own personal gain, Elisenda begins charging a fee to visit the angel out of selfish greed, and after Elisenda and Pelayo become rich, they still do not help the angel.
The first example of the selfishness shown in this story is the people who flock to see the old man. Every person comes to the angel for their own personal gain. Some people, like the man who could not sleep because the star's noises disturbed him, wanted the old man to help cure him. They did not want to help the angel or care about him at all, and simply wanted their ailments cured. People never help the angel, and it is clear that the angel wanted no part of this. This is shown when the story says, "The angel took no part in his own act." Many people who visited the angel also hurt him in various ways in order to try and make him wake up. This is for their amusement and wonder. "The only time they succeeded in arousing him was when they burned his side with an iron for branding steers, for he had been motionless for so many hours that they thought he was dead." This is only one example of the countless ways the travelers would harm and harass the angel. The people who come to see the angel have no regard for the angel's health or well-being, and only care for their own health and emotions.
Selfishness is shown by Elisenda and Pelayo when they begin exploiting the angel as well. First, they spend money fencing in the yard. Then they begin charging a fee for people who desire to see the angel. This itself is a very selfish act, as they are exploiting the angel for money. Even though it is the angel everyone is paying to see, the couple never attempts to improve his living conditions. They make quite a bit of money off of the angel's pain. "In the midst of that shipwreck disorder that made the earth tremble, Pelayo and Elisenda were happy with fatigue, for in less than a week they had crammed their rooms with money and the line of pilgrims waiting their turn to enter still reached beyond the horizon." The couple still refuses to help the poor angel at all, and instead use the money for themselves. This begins to prove the couple's selfish...

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