A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
The author of the short story was born on March 1928 in Aracataca, Columbia. He was a screenwriter, a journalist and published books. He used to write stories, although he was a professional writer. Gabriel Marquez published his first short stories (Leaf Storm and other stories) in 1955 which contained the story “A very old man with enormous wings.” Marquez fiction work is rooted in the Columbian culture that was contributed by some Indian tribes and the rural life where people believed in supernatural occurrence. In his story, a lot of supernatural manifestations are recounted. There was a woman who changed into a giant spider with human head and the fallen angel incidence. Magic and realism is exploited across the story, to show the local mythology and natural phenomenon that were upheld and experienced by the society. He blends reality and fantasy using the magical realism technique. The angel is a fantasy, and the storm is a reality, the storm is used to bring the angle close to human beings who got a chance to decide his fate. Once the angel if discovered by Pelayo, instead of wondering about the angel’s origin he calls his wife as if it a regular occurrence. Their neighbor does not see the man as divine and advises on beating the angel.
Various interpretation by characters
Pelayo and Elisenda, are the first characters to see the old man with the wings. They are astonished at such a sight and concludes that the man was a cast away from the shipwreck Gabriel (1955). There had been a storm at the sea that had lasted for days, and the man appeared to have suffered the impact of the storm as a punishment for a mistake they did not know. They had not seen a man with wings, and from their examination the wings were not functional and thus could not be an angel Roberts, Henry & Jacobs (1998). The wings were infested with parasites and were too big that the man could not raise his face.
The neighboring woman was assumed to be wise and would help identify what the man was. She arrives and declares that the old man was an old angel who could not withstand the rain and was struck off from the sky Gabriel (2004). The old woman suggests that they should club the old man, but Pelayo and his wife declines the idea. They decide to host him in their chicken coop, especially after their son recovers from fever. They presumed it was because of the old man presences that their son recovered from his illness.
Father Gonzaga, comes over to see the rumored angel among men and declares him and imposter. The father had tried to converse with him in priestly language, Latin, that was assumed to be a language for the servants of God, but the old man could not respond Roberts et al. (1998). The father sends letters to senior leaders of the church requesting for directions on dealing with the imposter. The church does not find the matter of considerable magnitude and shows little concern.
The People from a pilgrimage to Pelayo’s home were reached by the news about the angle and believed his divine power could heal them from their sufferings. For instance, the person who would sleepwalk at night and undo the work he did during the day Zwaan (1996). Pelayo was industrious enough to turn the visit into an entrepreneurial venture. He charged the visitors an admission fee that turned him rich. The old woman performed miracles as expected, and this attracted more pilgrims until a woman who had been changed into a giant spider came along.
The doctor came to conduct a test for the fever that Elisenda son was having; he was tempted to test the old man and noticed the same symptoms Zwaan (1996). He concluded that the man was human, but wondered how he had wings while no man could develop wings.
How characters arrive their interpretations
The old man was judged by what he appeared like and what he did. The people from the pilgrims came to their interpretation since the old man could work miracles that met their needs. People from the pilgrims based their analysis on ignorance, since they were willing to pay their money for unconfirmed healing from a stranger. The father could not believe that an angel could be stranded and caged like the old man was Roberts et al. (1998). He concludes that the old man is an imposter for he could not speak the language of priests. Elisenda and her husband concluded that he was a castaway man from the shipwreck, since the storm was being experienced, and the man was weak and groaned in pain. The neighboring woman concluded that he was an old angel that had been overwhelmed by the rain in the sky. She gave counsel of killing him since he seemed to be valueless as he was not capable of protecting himself, he could not help human beings. The doctor concluded that he was human, since he suffered same disease symptoms as Pelayo’s son. He did not expect an angel to suffer from human illness.
What the interpretations reveal about them
From their analysis, we can conclude that new ideas attract people. They had not seen the old man but had faith in his healing capacities. Once they have quenched their thirst of the new idea, they are open to new ones and forsake the old one. For instance, the crowd forgot immediately about the father and shifts their attention to the woman who was turned into a spider. The process of interpreting things within the society is tied to influences from, people around us. The characters in the tale does not develop independent opinions concerning the Old man; they influenced each other’s opinion Gabriel (1988). Some people like the wise neighbor, reveal people who interpret people on observable the physical characteristics. With the presence of large wings, without a second thought she concludes the old man is an angel and advises on killing him. Pelayo and his wife realize their son was healing and decides to spare the olds man life. They attributed their child’s recovery on the old man and declared him an angel. The angle rumor spreads and attracts many people.
In conclusion, the angel who was expected to die soon miraculously regained his power and flew away. The society was not concerned on his missing, this proves that his presences were not a significant event since the society takes interest on emerging issues only, and the old ones draw no attention.
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. “A very old man with enormous wings.” (2004).
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. Leaf Storm and Other Stories. 1988. Print.
Marquez, Gabriel. SparkNotes. SparkNotes, 1955. Web. 26 July 2015. <http://www.sparknotes.com/short-stories/a-very-old-man-with-enormous-wings/canalysis.html>.
Roberts, Edgar V., and Henry E. Jacobs. Literature: an introduction to reading and writing. Prentice Hall, 1998.
Zwaan, Rolf A. “Toward a model of literary comprehension.” Models of understanding text (1996): 241-255.
Zwaan, Rolf A., Joseph P. Magliano, and Arthur C. Graesser. “Dimensions of situation model construction in narrative comprehension.” Journal of experimental psychology: Learning, memory, and cognition 21.2 (1995): 386.
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