A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Critical Essay
With in this essay, I will deal with the literal analysis of the story and the mystical, drawing surrealism in how Marquez draws and engages the reader through imagery, techniques and sounds.
The story begins with a strange reference to time as if it was from the book of Genesis. On the third day of rain, The world had been sad since Tuesday, and other statements which indicate time. The weather and human emotion is described in a way that seems mythic and magical. One top of this, the world behaves strange events seems to foreshadow the eerie arrival of out of this world visitor the angel. The supernatural setting does not greatly affect people in the story, which I find the beginning less affective and nothing special. However the angel draws awe and confusion.
As a reader I gain a sense of curiosity, yet the angel is also very ordinary, excluding the fact that he has angelic wings. The image in the story itself captures the balance of epiphany and cruelty. He is surreal coupling of the hole and the profane, and this trend continues throughout story.
Surreal techniques flood the entire the story beyond the imagers. Marquezs narrative language combines the realistic and the unrealistic. For example, he writes that Pelayo and Elisenda were surprised by the angels appearance at first but very soon overcame the surprise and in the end found him familiar. Marquez doesnt provide the reader with the reason why they found him familiar so quickly; he just tells us they do. This is a technique familiar in legendary literature such ass the bible, where events seem to happen out of time and without proper explanation. Marquez balances the concerns with the realistic detail and characterisation with a mystical lack of concern for causality and law, touching on both image and language in one story.
Literally, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a story about a Colombian family visited by a mysterious old man with angel like wings. The townspeople pay their visit to this man who is encaged in a chicken coop. Once the townspeople lost interest, the chicken coop collapses and the man flies away.
Within a close reading of the text reveals underlying themes. The supernatural being is a representation of the unknown, in which he stands out from the rest of civilisation. Society likes to think itself as being open-minded. The people in the story did not want to believe the man was an angel because then they would have to reconsider everything they believe in.
Angels are commonly thought to be elegant, beautiful creatures usually wearing white with a spiritual presence, not disease infected beings that wallow in their own filth. This allegory makes me question my own perception of what angel look likes. I dont know why Gabriel Garcia Marquez chosen to reveal his angel as an old man, certainly I wouldnt think of angels being very old. He also described his angel in have few teeth and reeking of squalor.
The priest tested the old man by speaking to him in Latin, the language of God, and by looking for a navel or a miracle. Even though the angel did not pass any of the tests, the people in the story believe that the old man must be a celestial being because there no other feasible possibility to his identity. The writer Marquez stresses the fact that humans thought this man with wings was a strange creature that should be put on display for the world to see and abused like a caged animal. Humans ignorance causes uncivilised behaviour. I despise seeing the definition of angel ending up in a chicken coop. Having said that, if he was a real angel, then townspeople had, have approach the situation inappropriately.
Another important point is how the story addresses how we treat people, especially those who are different from us. This demonstrates just how ignorant and cruel we can be. When the old man was first seen, Peyalo ran away from the old man, leaving him lying in the mud, instead of helping him. Surprisingly no one care where he was from or why he was there for any reason. They only wanted to acquire money off him. When the wise neighbour, priest, and a church hierarchy were unable to classify what the man was, they disregarded him. And that was someone religious. As I reader I thought the religious would have a better understanding. Pelayos family did not let the angel into the house when the chicken coop had collapsed. He was forced remain outside.
This still emphasise how would treat other different then us. When the angel was ill, no one was willing to be 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 other to get what they want and once they get it, they are happy when they are out of their lives.
In the end, humanity is so concerned with our own conceptions of reality that we find it hard to accept to acknowledge that there may be a higher being up there, revealing a bigger picture of being the more to life after death. The angel has remained innocent throughout the story. He never did a thing to ear the impertinence and ill-treatment that he had received. People who are different us undergo, suspicion, and maltreatment just because of who they are. Society does not take time to approach people as unique individual beings just because of love and respect as any of us are. The reason for story was not the angel, but rather the people in it.