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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Short Story Written in 1968

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Short Story Written in 1968

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  • October 2005
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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings'' is a short story written in 1968 and has a style known as ‘‘magic realism;'' which is associated with its author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This style combines realistic, everyday details with elements of fantasy, confusing the reader's thoughts between reality and magic. It brings together miracles of life mixed with religious hints and meanings. But unlike other works of the imagination such as fairy tales or legends, stories of magic don't lead to knowledgeable morals or simple truths; "they present a rich and vivid world of magical possibilities, while frustrating and complicating the reader's efforts to fix a definite meaning to events."(1) "Magic realism has been a popular and influential form, attracting a wide readership and a great deal of interest from literary scholars. Drawing on the stories and legends of his rural South American childhood, as well as his study of the sophisticated techniques of modernist writers, Garcia Marquez creates a rich and suggestive fictional landscape that challenges traditional modes of thought and focuses the reader's attention on the difficult, elusive work of making sense of the world." (1) This is the story of what happens when an angel comes to town and it is by no means a simple story. The setting is no ordinary town, and its visitor is no ordinary angel; he may not even be an angel at all. Pelayo, a town bailiff, discovers the old man with wings struggling in the courtyard of his home after a storm. The visitor seems disappointingly ordinary and human, despite his extraordinary appearance and because he doesn't add up to the townspeople's expectations, they are incapable of understanding him. Pelayo and his wide, Elisenda, exhibit him as a carnival attraction, which creates a profitable outcome from the couple. In "less than a week they had crammed their rooms with money" from admissions and were able to earn enough to rebuild their home into a...

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