Real Life and a Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a story about a Colombian family visited by a mysterious man with wings. A very old man with enormous wings is the angel who represents the mysterious and unfamiliar elements in life. The angel is not just something supernatural, but also something foreign, someone who stands out from the crowd as being different from the rest of the civilization. As in the movie City of Angels we can perceive the existence of an angel watching over a doctor who is deeply shaken by the loss of one of her patients, this is how angels are interpreted in my point of view; they are souls protecting and guiding us. Not only does this film make me seriously consider the existence of celestial beings, but I now believe in the possibility that a guardian angel is looking after me.
Angels are commonly thought of to be elegant, beautiful creatures usually wearing white appearances with a spiritual presence; they are also known to be spiritual beings, the messenger of God. Not diseased infested beings that soak in their own filth. He had an unbearable smell of the outdoors, the side of his wings was strewn with parasites and his main feathers had been mistreated by terrestrial winds (Marquez 382). This allegory makes us question our own perception of what angels look like. Even though in the Movie City of Angels, angels are wearing black clothes, it really does not matter how they are dressed, what it is important is that angels are spirit beings that have the ability to take on human form.
The belief in such beings can be comforting during times of need and in matters of life and death. The Movie City of Angels portrays the grace of heaven meeting the beauty in life. Two souls, one mortal and one celestial, must struggle with their willingness and their need to sacrifice everything familiar for the sake of love. This is my favorite movie overall, because it shows what is the meaning of angels to me. They are beings watching over us from wherever they are; they can even be our own relatives that have passed away.
This story has all the characteristics of Magical Realism, such as having one fantastic element while being reality based, having a deeper meaning, and having no need to justify or explain events or human actions. I personally think that Gabriel Garcia Marquez does an excellent job of transforming the common and everyday into something very special and magical.
Marquez uses the technique of magical realism in his novels as well as his short stories; an example of his magical realism in a very old man with enormous wings, is when he states that The world had been sad since Tuesday (Marquez 380), referring to the child that was sick with a fever all night.
On the other hand, a very old man with enormous wings shows us how we treat people, especially those who are different from us. This demonstrates just how ignorant and cruel some people can be. When the old man was first seen, Pelayo ran away from the man, leaving him lying in the mud instead of helping him. Not a one cared where he came from or why he was there for any other reason than to acquire money off of him. Elisenda got the idea of fencing in the yard and charging five cents admission to see the angel (Marquez 382).
Pelayos family did not let the angel into the house when his chicken coop collapsed. He was forced to remain outside. When the angel was ill, nobody was benevolent towards him. Pelayos wife was not exceedingly upset when the old man flew away. The family was now rich so it did not matter what happened to the old man. People use others to get what they want and once they get it, they are happy when they are out of their lives.
Comparing City of Angels with A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, provides me a foundation for my beliefs on death and the likelihood of life thereafter. I now accept that the souls of lost loved ones can become angels watching over, protecting, and guiding me as I know many of my relatives do, like my grandmother perhaps. The belief in angels may be a myth or difficult to explain, but believing that my loved ones can return to earth as angels is comforting because I feel safe with them around me. In this lifetime, I may never know the true answer to where the human soul travels after death; however, having a guardian angel provides me with a sense of peace and security.
Garci?a, Ma?rquez Gabriel. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. 1999 ed. New York: Perennial Classics, 2007. Print.