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

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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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...