A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Short Story

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Short Story

By | June 2007
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Marquez explores both the natural and the supernatural in his short story, "A very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Although the plot revolves around the character of a winged man who has fallen to earth, the story's main focus is not on the angel, but on the folks surrounding him. As the story goes on, the author portrays an essentially negative view of human nature. According to Marquez, people not not only lack logic, they show ignorance. The people of the Columbian town mistreat the angel simply simply because he's different. Author's worst indictment of humanity, however, is reflected in their stubborn refusal to appreciate the miraculous.

The townspeople appreciate the supernatural. Instead of accepting such miracles as proof that the spiritual is at work in their lives, the townspeople dwell uncommon character of the angel's magic. They refer to his acts as "consolation miracles." One example is that the rain had been going on non- stop for 3 days. It all stopped when the angel fell into the courtyard. The crabs were gone and the well- being of Pelayo's child was restored. Even after the angel had been locked up in the chicken-coop, miracles continued to occur as a sign of the angel's presence. Showcasing the angel to the whole town, Pelayo and Elisenda made a fortune. After everyone had lost interest in the angel, Pelayo and Elisenda had built a mansion. A blind man fails to regain his vision but instead sprouts new teeth.

The story contains a brief yet elegant view of human nature as predatory, unspiritual and thoughtless. Not only do the characters possess little logic or knowledge, they do not have the smallest of compassion for the angel, or someone whom they perceive as different. This story, however, presents more than a negative view of humanity. It also reflects a profound challenge. By pointing out several flaws in human nature, the author suggest ways in which mankind should better itself.
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