In the story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”
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, Pelayo and Elisenda lock him up with the chickens as though he is no better then live stock. What amazes me the most is the old lady next door. She had actually wanted to kill the poor thing because that is what she thought they were suppose to do. My word, there is more then just one thing wrong that needs to be changed in this story, but we are going to start with how the townspeople treat the celestial being.
Take a second to picture this if you will: an old man who is skinny with wings, which look like they are about to fall off. The first time you see this old man, he is laying face down in the mud. Now, what emotions do you feel towards him? If you say sympathy, then you are nothing like the people in this story and I congratulate you. If only they could feel like you do. What these heartless people need to do is 1) grow a heart, 2) treat the Angel with respect and 3) not treat him like some sort of circus freak.
Another thing, which I do not understand, is how a group of people who believe that they are very religious and know about God could act so stupid. When the other townspeople come to see the Angel, they all have their different opinions on what to do with him. “Others of sterner mind felt that he should be promoted to the rank of five star general in order to win all wars. Some visionaries hoped that he could be put to stud in order to implant on earth a race of winged wise men,” (Marquez 362). Here is a creature of God which had been seen as a missionary of peace and good will in the eyes of man and yet this is what they want to do to him.
Then, when the people get Father Gonzaga out there, he does not even think the Angel is one. His main reasons were 1) he didn’t speak Latin, which is suppose to be the language of God and 2) he didn’t know how to great God’s ministers. The Father also thought the Angel was too human. That is another belief of Christians that Angels would be like humans but better. Seeing the Angel who was nothing like what they expected completely throws off their belief, so they just ignore it. If they were true believers, then they would have trusted what they saw and believed in it anyway.
Next, we have how they treat the Angel after the spider woman comes to town. Here we have the creature, a “frightful tarantula the size of a ram and with the head of a sad maiden,” to be exact (Marquez 364). Instead of being something to poke at or throw food at like the townspeople did with the Angel, they saw the spider woman “full of so much human truth and with such a fearful lesson” that people actually felt like they did not have to torture her (Marquez 364). See, here is a creature that was created because of sin but the townspeople were willing to leave her alone and accept her. This is the irony of the story. As is with most human actions, especially in these current times, people are more willing to accept sinful things then good because it is easier to accept and overlook the bad, but to accept the good means that you accept the beliefs of God and know that you should follow Him. The thing is, it is harder to be good then it is to be bad and there are many people, along with the rest of us, who chose to go down the straight, smooth path then the curvy, bumpy path.
In the end, the Angel escapes and the spider woman goes off with her circus. What can been seen by this is good will always be able to roam free but the sinful will be contained and be used to make a profit. There is no shame in being good and that is what the townspeople should have learned if they were paying close enough to the actual creatures and not to the fanfare surrounding their presence.