Old Man with Enormous Wings Literary Analysis

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Jackie Thornton
Ms. Barbara Purbaugh
English 200, Section 02
08 November 2012
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
In “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” excerpts of greed, jealousy, indifference, and humanity are put together in this story. It is uncommon that there is no true “main character” in this story. The author tries to tell the reader something about the way that we react to some of life's miracles. In "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes on how we as humans have a cruel reaction to people who are different from us. But, we also look at human compassion to other people. We can be cruel and understanding at the same time. In the story, Pelayo and Elisenda have a child that is very sick. They believe that the old man with enormous wings is an angel who has come to take their sick child to heaven. The old man does not quite look like what one would consider an angel. The man seems human enough, being surrounded by disease and filth constantly. When the doctor examines him, he is amazed that such an unhealthy man is still alive and is shocked by how natural the old man’s wings seem to be. His one different quality, aside from his wings, seems to be his patience, and he speaks in a dialect that nobody understands. Since nobody understood what exactly he was saying, they became ignorant to him. He did not have a clear moral message and when that happens people tend to judge. People have a cruel reaction to those who are different than us, not simply by looks, but just by one’s demeanor. Human compassion is something that we all seem to have. No matter what happens, we all can relate to people through certain things and experiences. Everybody around Pelayo and Elisenda think that the angel really is not an angel. They both decide to keep him in the chicken coop for him to stay. Pelayo’s decision to shelter the old man and take some responsibility for him, however, suggests that he isn’t as cold or heartless...
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