A very Old Man with Huge Wings

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez is known throughout the world for his literary works, and especially his success with the magical realism style. This style creates a world where everything is mixed; the reality and the fantastic are together, and this strange world draws the reader inward. In the story “A Very Old Man with Huge Wings” by Garcí­a Márquez, there are many elements of magical realism, but the purpose goes beyond just this. In the argument of this creative and fascinating story, there are comments on the world and on the second one there are many more levels of significance. Garcí­a Márquez makes many comments on life and human nature. This analysis speaks of the human reception of the supernatural, examines the human character, and criticizes the church.

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“A very Old Man with Huge Wings”

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In this story, an angel appears suddenly in the backyard of the house of Pelayo and Elisenda. Pelayo discovered it when he was killing crabs and throwing them in the sea because it had rained for three days. “The angel was dressed like a ragpicker” and was in a pitiful condition covered in mud (Garcí­a Márquez 11). There were many talks in the town because the event was very curious, and nobody knew what to do with the angel. Some thought that the angel should be mayor of the world, while other people had bigger thoughts like creating a new, wiser race. Elisenda decided to charge five cents to see it, and people came from all over the world. Many people tried to provoke him, but the angel did not respond to the food or the much damage they cause. Pelayo and Elisenda received enough money to build a bigger house and take away the work. After some time, people abandoned him to see the girl turned into a spider. After this, for many years the angel lived there with the family until one day when he had more effort to go and fly. In the end, Elisenda felt relief because she thought of the angel as a hindrance in his life.

You can already see many elements of magical realism in this story. Magical realism has the purpose of combining elements of realism and fantasy at the same time. From the first moment, the reader has to accept time that is not measured in a normal way. It is the “third day of rain” and “the world was sad since Tuesday” do not give a specific time or concrete (Garcí­a Márquez 11). The story has an angel and a woman turned into a spider, and these main people are fantastic but also parts integrated and accepted in the story. Also, other people with strange foods are mentioned briefly, for example the girl counting the beats of her heart that no longer has numbers and the man tormented by the noise of the stars (Garcí­a Márquez 15). In the end, the improvement in the health of the angel does not make sense because it has already passed many years without improvement, but one day already has effort. But these elements are juxtaposed with a people that appears normal with people who gossip, houses with gardens and chicken coops, children who attend school, curious people who like the strange, and poor people who need money. Garcí­a Márquez interweaves the realist and the fantastic to create a tale of magical realism. But this story is not only an example of magical realism, but also a commentary on the world today.

What would you do if I had an angel in your yard? The first comment is of the human response to the supernatural, and in this the limits of human reason are seen. The reaction of Pelayo and Elisenda is to put him on a raft with food and water to send him out of his home because they cannot explain the existence of the angel. “The absurd attempts to explain the angel’s appearance logically and to discover his raison d’etre demonstrate the limits of human reason” (McMurray 118). A lot of the time, it’s human nature if you just like explainable and understandable things. But all of the angel is not explainable. There is never an explanation of his fallen or of his purpose or of his appearance or of his exit at the end of the story. Bell-Villada also talks about this, especially about how his presence does not fit into our ideas or stereotypes of angels. “Rather than stereotypically young, heroic-looking, and blond, with sumptuous garments and wings all in white, Garcia Marquez’s mysterious stranger is dressed in rags is nearly bald and toothless and has soiled ‘buzzard wings’ strewn with parasites” (Bell- Villada 137).

It is clear that the angel is not natural in this place, because the doctor does not understand how the wings are so natural in his body or how he performs some miracles. But the human ones do not understand anything about the angel, and in addition they give preference to the girl turned into a spider because she has an understandable explanation. “Unlike the old man, she talks about her affliction. Where the old man refused, she encourages responses … There is nothing ambiguous or submerged about our perception of her “(Gerlach 84). To the simple people of this town, he likes this girl. Although she has made a mistake and disobeyed her parents to become a spider, she likes the understandable explanation. While she receives the food she wants, people treat the angel like an animal or something without feeling or feeling. Gerlach says, “similes used to describe him did not even grant him human attributes: matched with the villagers who stood around his cage he looked ‘like a huge decrepit hen among fascinated chickens'” and says that this is meant to diminish the splendor and greatness of the angel (82). In all of the treatment and guess of its existence or purpose, the people show the smallness of human reason, especially when you want to understand the supernatural.

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A very old man with huge wings. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from

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