A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Essay

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Religion as a Synonym of Ignorance
Is the church as solid and strong as it seems? In “The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, Garcia Marquez uses magical realism to challenge religious beliefs; hence, proving religion is not what is seems. To begin with, when the old man with enormous wings lands in Elisenda and Pelayo’s courtyard and after concluding that the man must be someone who survived a shipwreck they call their neighbor to see him. Their neighbor proclaims right away that he must be an angel. Her reaction to the man with wings is purely influenced by faith. She blindly assumes things based on what she has been taught her whole life: "He's an angel," she told them. "He must have been coming for the child, but the poor fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down." (García Marquez 1) This shows how religion influences the interpretation of various events; hence, limiting them to find a deeper or more meaningful significance to any situation. Pelayo’s reaction is guided by fear and insecurity, which somehow is portrayed in the story to symbolize that the Church institution, generates fear instead of preaching God’s word. How Garcia Marquez describes the angel is a critique to the Church due to the fact that it is described as a ragpicker in a pitiful condition and extremely old. Pelayo judges the angel on his appearance. Wasn’t the angel supposed to look all white, attractive and divine such as church says? If he was this way, then Pelayo would most likely honor and respect him rather than treat him like an animal; this doesn’t only ruin the idea the Church has about an angel, but also results very disappointing, meaning that after all, religion results to be a disappointment. Garcia Marquez clearly describes how Colombian society is, and how ignorant they are due to religion. The town expresses hope and expectations are the angel’s visit. Many had big dreams and had relied on this angel to put an end to all their problems as if he was sent down...
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