Seminal Work of Magic Realism

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Magic Realism is a literary school that arose shortly after Realism. Unlike Realism, Magic Realism distinguishes everyday components with surrealistic elements to weave together myth in an effort to question the true nature of one’s interpretation. The short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” by Gabriel García Márquez, attributes the common ordinary message with Magic Realism to allow the reader to untangle it, discover its meaning with child-like eyes, and to help one mentally experience what makes the message beautiful. Gabriel García Márquez’s synchronism of conventional being and extraordinary expertise in symbolism allows this short story to be a perfect representation of Magic Realism. “The story illustrates the human need to interpret life’s events” – this is the message that can be found within this tale (Tornaritis). One might conclude that simple interpretation is something most beings cannot settle for. Overtime, reoccurring events become dull and archaic to the mind. In this short story, Márquez introduces the character of the Old Man as a dramatization of strange events that could be analyzed in many ways. The Old Man, is a surrealistic character who appears to Pelayo and his wife Elisenda in the corner of the courtyard. This Old Man is perceived to be an angel, however, his appearance is ragged and his wings corroded. Throughout the short story, the Old Man is treated with no dignity as he is locked up in a chicken coop because Pelayo and Elisenda believe that he is the angel of death to their sick child. While being locked up, the old man is also a source of entertainment for the town’s people. Although one might think that the old man shows a lack of dignity, when observed and analyzed, his actions are perceived completely different. The characteristics of the old man are rather supernatural. While being locked up in the chicken coop, the town’s people act criminally: throwing fruit peels and stones at him as if he was a circus...
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