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"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 accept things.The first people to witness the arrival of the angel are the owners of the yard he land in, Pelayo and Elisenda. Pelayo is in the courtyard removing unwanted crabs from the house when he notices "a very old man lying face down in the mud, who, in spite of his tremendous efforts, couldn't get up, impeded by his enormous wings"(192). Pelayo immediately runs in the house and brings his wife outside to see the incredible site. They look at the body with a "mute stupor."(192). This is not the reaction the reader might expect. To witness an angel struggling in the mud is an astonishing thing and it would seem that a person would act with more emotion. The old man is described as a pitiful old man, balding and missing teeth. His wings were "huge buzzard wings, dirty and half plucked"(192) and he was dressed very shabbily. This is a very disappointing description of the man because a glorious, overwhelming angel seems more expected. To further surprise the reader the couple soon finds him to be "familiar." This must be Marquez's magic realism in action. The couple wasn't scared of him, they could even relate to him a little because he did not seem like a celestial being. The couple then "intelligently concluded" that he was not in fact an angel but a castaway shipwrecked in the storm (193). This term "intelligently concluded" shows exactly what, at this time, is considered rational thought and it also lets you know what to expect as the story proceeds. Now the reader knows what the level of intelligence is in the village and if these people think this way than the whole town is probably not much different. They then ask the neighbor lady for her opinion because she knows "everything about life and death."(192). The neighbor lady must either have a little more insight than the average person in the town, or is just the type of person that speaks with confidence and has the ability to influence those around her. In either case she says that it was indeed an angel and her neighbors believe her. The next day the neighbor women suggested that Pelayo and Elisenda should club him to death because for her "angels in those times were fugitive survivors of a celestial conspiracy" (193). Through saying this I believe that Marquez is illustrating people's unwillingness to understand something new. They would sometimes rather kill something than understand it.The angel is now being kept in the chicken coop with all whole neighborhood poking at and throwing things at him. Father Gonzaga, the highly revered local...

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