A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1518 words - 6 pages

In “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of a supernatural winged creature first discovered trapped in a mud puddle during a heavy rainstorm. Marquez initially just describes it as, “a very old man . . . impeded by his enormous wings” (Marquez 380). Throughout the story, however, characters use the term “angel” for the creature because “a neighbor woman who knew everything about life and death” in an authoritative seer-like manor proclaims, “He’s an angel . . . [that] must have been coming for the child, but the poor fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down” (Marquez 381). Despite the neighbor woman’s confidence in her assertion, Marquez never definitively makes known the creature’s true nature. While Marquez vividly describes various characteristics and actions of the “angel,” the true significance and depth of the story is in Marquez’s often satirical exploration of the various other characters’ perception of and interaction with the creature. Marquez may call the story, “A Tale for Children,” but it is, in fact, far from a children’s tale, as it is a complex story that satirically deals with mature human behaviors and themes starting with its very first line—the title.
While subtitled “A Tale for Children,” Marquez’s story lacks most of the characteristics often found in of children’s stories. Frequently children’s stories focus on action; Marquez focuses on the characters and their interactions. While there is some action in the arrival, treatment, and departure of the “angel,” much more attention is focused on how the various characters act towards and react to the “angel.” Children’s stories are often about childhood or express a child’s point of view; except for a few sentences in the next-to-the-last paragraph of the story, there is very little mention of “the child,” and there is neither anything specifically about childhood nor a child’s point of view (Marquez 384). A children’s story is often optimistic; anyone would be hard-pressed to describe the story as optimistic with its mostly negative portrayal of human nature. Children’s stories often tend to have charismatic characters; none of the characters in Marquez’s story could remotely be considered charismatic. The “angel” certainly is not in any way portrayed as charismatic; he is described as filthy and compared to a vulture on more than one occasion, and with no comprehensible dialog and very little action, the “angel” would never be called charismatic. The same is true for the people that interact with the “angel.” At worst, they are quite cruel, and at best, they are self-centered, indifferent and only occasionally show the slightest compassion.
One of the most universal characteristics of children’s stories is that they are simple and straightforward; that is not at all the case with Marquez’s story. While the action is simple, the interaction, behavior, and themes in the story are not. In the very beginning...

Find Another Essay On A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marqez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

1067 words - 4 pages Characteristics of Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marqez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings The controversy surrounding Magical Realism makes the classification of what is and what is not Magical Realism very difficult. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a famous Latin American author, has written many pieces of what is generally conceived to be Magical Realism. Marqez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" fulfills every characteristic of

"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings"

647 words - 3 pages Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is a fairy tale in which realistic, earthy diction is used to relate a mystical event. The author's flair for describing the fantastic in a casual, understated way creates an atmosphere of credibility in which anything is possible and believable. Using a South American village for setting and an assortment of descriptive images for flavor, Marquez shows how superstitious ignorance and

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

1463 words - 6 pages God performs his divine acts in many ways. Jesus could perform miracles of healing and create food from nothing. These are the more conventional ways we see divine intervention at work. Almighty God, however, does not prefer these standard methods. Instead, he prefers to act in ways we humans can only begin to understand. This is very much true for the short story “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Within the story

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

1174 words - 5 pages A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings      The fictional tale entitled A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is an intriguing story which is expressed very well in the title. The story is about just that, an old man with wings. The only aspect that the title fails to point out is that he is an angel. I find the story to be somewhat interesting; however, it isn’t exactly hard to put down.      The one thing about this story that stands out the

The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

742 words - 3 pages support.Therefore, in the short story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings", Gabriel Garcia Marquez illustrates that people who are naive towards religious propaganda often fail to notice true happiness, by elaborating the conflict that exists between the characters of the old, dirty angel and the priest, Father Gonzaga.

In the story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

806 words - 3 pages In the story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the main thing that needs to be changed is the treatment of the Angel. Here is a pitiful old man who "was dressed like a ragpicher… [who had] only a few faded hairs left on his bald skull and very few teeth in his mouth," (361). Normally, one would respond with a sense of amazement or sympathy, but not the people in this town. Instead of treating him with respect

Analysis of Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"

772 words - 3 pages peace" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9). As the wise author of Ecclesiastes noted, there is a time for everything and the time for change is ever present. Gabriel Marquez makes this time for change completely apparent to the reader in his short story entitled "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Marquez draws a direct parallel between the old, winged man and the individual: each falls from glory and each is often misunderstood by society.The tragic fall

"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" A 1000 Word Critical Analasys

1080 words - 4 pages A very Old Man With Enormous Wings Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" is a short story with a fairy tale like quality. He uses magic realism throughout the story, giving it a dreamy effect. The characters react and interpret the old angel in many different ways. Marquez shows us, in several different aspects, how people act as a mob, when they feel threatened, their ignorance in masses, and their unwillingness to

"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

Realistic and Magical Elements of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

1116 words - 4 pages Realistic and Magical Elements of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings      "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is a renowned short story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was published in 1955. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born and spent his childhood in Colombia but has lived in Paris and Mexico. As for the work that made him famous, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is considered by most an archetype of Magical Realism. When

Linking Magical Realism and the Sublime in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

1020 words - 4 pages Linking Magical Realism and the Sublime in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings       Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" links Magical Realism and Sublime literature to one another in such a way that Magical Realism seems to be a genre of the Sublime. This short story was published with a collection of other stories entitled Leaf Storm and Other Stories in 1955. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a native Columbian, has accomplished a

Similar Essays

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1131 words - 5 pages The parish priest had his first suspicion of an impostor when he saw that he did not understand the language of God or know how to greet his ministers” (452). In many instances in life, people, in this situation an angel, are often unseen or unrecognized by those who are in need of their supervision and direction. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” the “angel” acts as one of these

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1392 words - 6 pages through his personal and magical narrative. Engaged in the longest civil war in the western hemisphere, with an extensive history of violence, Colombia, is the inspiration, as well as the home for Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Brittain 57). Consider A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings , although violence is not the main focus of the story, it is evident that the community in which Marquez speaks has been plagued by it. Marquez grew up with “historical trauma

"A Good Man Is Hard To Find" By Flannery O'connor And "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" By Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

649 words - 3 pages Two Short Stories: A Comparative CommentaryThe views that "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" expose about human nature does not make humankind look very pleasant. In fact, it depicts the reality of negativity one can project."A Good Man is Hard to Find" is about a family who decides they want to move to Florida and along the way meet a murderer, known as The Misfit. The story is told through the grandmother who

A Cataclysm In Repose Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings"

966 words - 4 pages influence of politics in his writing. Being a Marxist, how did this affect the non-traditional representation of the angel? I found that, in general, the interview provided helpful insight on what makes Marquez's magical-realistic writing so vivid and believable.Work CitedStone, Peter H. An interview with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Unknown date and publisher.Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." The Story and it's Writer. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's ., 2003.