A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Summary

Published: 2021-07-02 05:05:28
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Category: Angel, Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

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An old man with enormous wings is an interesting short story with elements of mysticism.  Gabriel José García Márque with the tool of his Magical realism unfurled the world of reality to incorporate the  myth and supernatural elements in his stories.
Gabriel used this tool with great dexterity to spear into our senses our own predicaments toward the nature’s mystic world.
This is the whole essence of An Old man with enormous wings. Here I will delve in this short story how with the lively characters of  an old man and woman and a mystic old man with wings, Gabriel brought our real life and our connection with the nature in close proximity.



The magic realism has a characteristic of deep fantasy marked with flamboyance and intermittent mystery. It goes to the credit of Gabriel that he created fantasy and the real world in proximity with each other and seems to be  equal.
The  whole village has people full of life as if the real characters have been simmered into the words, still the smell of mystesism can be felt when people realize the old man with wings is in possession of  magical powers. It is his mysterous nature which is a center of attraction.
The story starts with an old man and woman when they were collecting and throwing crabs in the sea. Pelayo suddenly came across an old angel with dilapitated wings and called his wife Elisenda.
At the first site of an angel, both were puzzled and the neighbor lady went to further extent to claim that this angel must have come to take away the child but as he is old, rain and thunderstorm thumped him into the ground. The old couple picked up an angel and put him in a chicken coop just like other chickens.
The most intriguing aspect is of the story is when characters come to know that this is not a normal bird or animal or human being, he is a human but with wings and therefore he is not a man. Still Doctor after examining his wings remarks why humans do not have these wings? Here Gabreil presented him as so natural that it seems this winged creature is normal yet incredible and we are made to believe his imaginary sense of perception.
The Angel
The old man with wings, a vivid character is described with the help of sensory imagination, which poises in us the clear picture and makes it lively. García Márquez enables us not only to visualize the old man, but also feel his mystic parts and his whistling heart.
The imagery makes us understand the supernatural stereotypic elements that we hold about angels and also makes us understand that old man with wings does not possess any of the heroic or exalted qualities but just like any other poor human being, is earthly, weak and poor. (Faulkner, 1999).  Even Father Gonzaga also said that there is nothing in him that can be compared to the beautiful and dignity of angles, thus though supernatural and mystic he is.
Garcia Marquez increased the anxiousness of the readers on the question of angels as real but not fictitious and is not like what we have been visualizing. This old man with wings is not anywhere near to our conventional angels who are powerful, beautiful and immortal, or send by God. This angel is old and decrypt, powerless, totally left at the mercy of strangers, but as mentioned in the book he has magical qualities that rendered him a superior position. He is a bizarre mixture of holiness and the blasphemy.
It appears as if he has come to make the old couple’s life comfortable and he did that. When he is kept in Chicken coop, slowly and slowly, son of old couple recovered, over and above Paloya and his wife’s earnings too improved when they started charging the fees from the villagers who so ever came to see this strange creature. Whole village is giving his or her own interpretation regarding the originality of this angel hiding the true nature of this old man.
The story moves as if it is not a fable but only a conventional idea what the people stores and hold. Until the end of the story, uncertainty remains and we are not able to know the mystery of this winged creature - how it came and from where it came. This uncertainty implied not only to the winged creature but also to the life - the life in which we are living now and a life where the uncertainty prevails. Through these mystic creatures, writer tries to emphasize that anything can happen, as this whole world is full of mysteries.
The descriptions of imaginary poetry also seems to be real, and complain of a villager of his problem of sleep because stars in the night disturbs him, also appears to be true, a simple medical problem ( Faulkner, 1999). And this impression of villagers, García Márquez's created by the use of narrative voice, in the voice of a third person, and is aware of all the facts and as such readers trust him. This is also true that narrator tries to endorse upon us the idea that nothing is impossible in this world, and nature has in store numerous complex beings, which even our eyes cannot perceive.
With the supernatural elements, Gabriel also used Irony as a tool to show the mirror of the other face of human beings- face, which human beings hide behind their virtuous proposition. On one hand, all villagers are showing sympathy to the little old creature but on the other hand all have their own selfish motives. Some one is coming to see the old creature to get cured and some one to make their wish fulfilled. Neighbor wanted creature to be smashed to death.
Pelayo and Elisenda, who had put the tiny being in a chicken coop, used it for their own materialistic gains. The people made mockery of this winged creature as any other animal of the circus. Pelayo and Elisenda did not show any sympathy towards the poor creature. This is apparently true in this “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” that human nature is unspiritual yet boasts of spirituality.
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Conclusion
"An Old Man with Enormous Wings" contains a brief yet elegant presentation of human nature as thoughtless, predatory, and unspiritual humanity. Garcia Marquez by mentioning about several flaws in human nature put forward several ways in which man can turn towards divinity. The selfishness is also visible in the story where Carnival brought a girl changed into spider, as she did not obey her parents.
The cruelty lies in the human’s inclination towards spicy news and furor which girl generates by not being virtuous or disobeying parents. Her story projects a true and clear meaning of our daily life: to obey your parents and not to go out dancing whole night. By the arrival of the spider girl, every one’s attention is now diverted from that old angel. The story comes to an end when after so many years of captivity angel again got back his wings and flew off.
Several questions remained unanswered in the story. We never come to know from where the angel came and where it has gone?  The connections between what the people perceive and how they respond is left unclear. It is not clear why a neighbor woman thinks that the angel is in danger and recommends killing him, neither it is clear that how and why Pelayo and Elisenda’s baby got cured?
Uncertainty remains through out and the people like other readers in the story just make interpretation of events but do not understand them. It is rightly said that it is a fairy tale without any constructive explanation.

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