A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Topics: Gabriel García Márquez, Latin America, Magic Pages: 2 (638 words) Published: September 30, 2013
I’ve never believed in magic. A simple slight of hand or misdirection, and you’ve got a magic trick. Webster’s Dictionary defines magic as: a power that allows people (such as witches or wizards) to do impossible things by saying special things or performing special actions. It all seems a little far-fetched to me, and yet, I believe in angels. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways,” this is Proverbs 91:11, and my favorite verses from the Holy Bible.

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, with this short story, he was said to have fathered the genre of “magical realism” - this refers to a literary style, associated with Latin America. Magical realism transforms the common and the everyday into the awesome and the unreal. This story depicts a poor family man, Pelayo, who struggles with the unreal himself on a dark and rainy night, when he encounters a man stuck in a pile of mud by his huge wings. The story reads, “an old man, 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.” Once Pelayo and his wife Elisenda, are told by their wise neighbor woman that the old man is indeed an angel, their reactions are not quite what you’d expect. Instead of the typical remorse reaction, the couple displays almost indifference to his possibly celestial origins. The neighbor woman actually tells them to club him to death, as angels are seen in this region as “fugitive survivors of a spiritual conspiracy”. Pelayo decides to not kill the angel, but instead takes him out of the mud, and placed him inside their chicken coop. Pelayo then begins charging a five cents fee to their fellow townspeople, for admission to see their captured angel. Townspeople arrive in swarms in hope of being cured by the angel. Their sickness, as opposed to the more traditional blindness or leprosy, are instead mostly mental...
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