“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” uses tone, diction, and syntax to create an elaborate story that constantly has the reader on their heels. The tragic incidents dealing with the old man as a circus animal for the whole town creates a sad and depressing mood. A symmetrical structure placed on the story line helps balance out the incidents occurring throughout the plot. The story relies on imagery to create a picture inside our minds as to what is fact and what is false. In the short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses the elements of fantasy versus reality to constantly change the tone from tragedy to uncertainty throughout the reader’s mind.
Marquez creates a symmetrical structure throughout her diction in the story line by opening with the arrival of an [unusual] presence that further causes a change between the lives of several characters, and ends with a departure that finishes the natural cycle. It begins with the entrance of the old man, the community questioning if indeed he is an angel, and ends with his final departure. Upon discovery, “…it was a [very] old man, lying face down in the mud, who, in spite of his tremendous efforts, couldn’t get up, impeded by his enormous wings” (Marquez 234) that initially started the debate amongst the community. The confusion began as the family wondered what to do with the creature or if he were some sort of angel from the heavens. The physical features looked like a man however; the [obscure] wings led people to believe he was some sort of angel. His [picturesque] presence changed the views of the whole community and serving as a main attraction. One of the old man’s final moments occurs as “Elisenda [let out] a sigh of relief, for herself and for him, when she saw him pass over the last houses, holding himself up in some way with the [risky] flapping of a [senile] vulture” (Marquez 239). It was noted that the old man began to sit and distance himself when the changes...
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