Literary Analysis of A very old Man with Enormous Wings
This short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is an example of magic-realism. Through this story, Marquez introduces four concepts with regard to how we might react to certain things like the presence of an angel or a miracle. These kinds of divine events are very common in Hispanic culture; most of them are just folklorism. Marquez creates a story that is very detailed but is opposite to the reality of angels that we’re familiar with, specially the Catholic Church’s depiction of an angel as a prominent creature, not the person described in the story.
The appearance: Most people of this fishing village believe the old man is an angel, but according to the description given for an angel his appearance is quite contrary: “...When Father Gonzaga went into the chicken coop and said good morning to him in Latin. The parish priest had his first suspicion of an imposter when he saw that he did not understand the language of God or know how to greet his ministers. Then he noticed that seen close up he was much too human: he had an unbearable smell of the outdoors, the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites and his main feathers had been mistreated by terrestrial winds, and nothing about him measured up to the proud dignity of angels.” At this point they were judging the angel for how he looked based on the Catholic descriptions, where angels are beautiful and prominent creatures with wings, and merely having the appearance it had caused some people’s mistrust.
Faith: People believe that the man is an angel, and they arrived from everywhere looking for help and miracles: “… the most unfortunate invalids on earth came in search of health: a poor woman who since childhood has been counting her heartbeats and had run out of numbers; a Portuguese man who couldn’t sleep because the noise of the stars disturbed him; a sleepwalker who got up at night to undo the...
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