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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: a Critical Analysis

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: a Critical Analysis

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Critical Analysis

Callora, Hanna Krishna S.
AB English 2

English 12 TTHS 4:00-5:25

Setting

The story is set in a coastal area and it opens with an ongoing rainfall that has turned the world gloomy and gray. Everyone in this town was feeling sad because of the state of the beach and the stench of rotten fish. It was March and the rain had made the light weak during daytime and replaced the glimmer of the sands of the beach with “a stew of mud and rotten shellfish.”

At the beginning of the story, we learn that crabs have been crawling into the house of Pelayo and Elisenda that “on the third day of rain,” they had killed so many of them. After throwing them away into the sea and walking back home, Pelayo found an old man writhing and groaning in the mud. Afraid that he might have come to take away their baby, Pelayo locked him inside the chicken coop. The chicken coop becomes the dwelling place of the angel, where he lived among chickens and patiently endured the poking and prodding of curious people.

It covers the period from winter up to spring, which usually suggests death and birth.
The story has a supernatural setting for the world behaves strangely. For one thing, there are swarms of crabs that crawl into the house and must be killed. Another is the darkness that the world gets at noon. There is the arrival of a very old man with wings and the strange half-woman-half-spider who have stolen the attention of the curious people. But the most interesting part is not the supernatural setting itself but the annoyance of the townspeople towards these seemingly strange events as if these things happen everyday. This juxtaposition of the real and surreal is consistent throughout the story as well as the attitude of the people, which can be seen in the way they treated the old man with wings.

Characters

It is important to note that while there are major characters in the...