A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a short story written by a Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This story belongs to the genre of magic realism, which is characterized with the fantastic issues depicted in the most realistic way. When you read the text of this genre, you forget that it is fiction. You believe that you read a common realistic novel with its common problems and characters. The author managed to create a simple short story, which impressed millions of people. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings has been translated into many languages and it is studied at every reputable educational institution.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings has a simple composition and plot development. One day an old sick man with wings was found on the shore near a small village. Of course, people were astonished and interested in this creature. Someone said that it was an angel, because it did not understand human language. Moreover, a sick boy was cured just because of the presence of this creature with wings. At first people paid attention to this old man with enormous wings who lived in a chicken coop of Pelayo and Elisenda. This couple decided to earn money with the help of this angel. They locked it in their chicken coop and showed him for money. One day Father Gonzaga, a local priest, came to test where the old man was an angel. He spoke in Latin to him but received the answer in an unknown language. Very soon, people lost their interest in the angel, because the village had a new freak. The couple earned much money with the help of the old man and then his health began to decline. Everyone thought that he was going to die but suddenly he became better and flew away.
Obviously, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings has the deepest meaning. Marquez showed the sad reality of the human civilization. Moreover, he described the evil side of the human nature. In spite of the fact that people thought the old man was an angel, they treated him like a freak. They made him live in a chicken coop like an animal. They showed him for money as if he were a wild beast. Then, they did not try to cure him or safe his life when he was sick. Finally, they were not thankful for his help. It was he who cured the child when it was sick.
Secondly, the old man can be a symbol of altruism. The angel helped the child and suffered from the negative attitude of the surrounding people. He did not try to punish them, though he could have possessed supernatural powers. In this case, one can say that the old man is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who suffered for the human sins.
It is possible to say that Marquez criticized the church and its priests. Furthermore, he ruined the ancient belief that a priest is a facilitator between the God and the people. Father Gonzaga tried to speak in Latin with the old man but the latter did not understand this language; therefore, the church and its representatives cannot be the God’s hand on Earth. Finally, Marquez showed the scene when the priest tried to feed the angel with the expensive and sophisticated meals, but the latter ate the most common food. The idea is simple. The church accumulates wealth in the name of the God. Of course, the God and his angels do not require wealth and various expensive items.
In conclusion, Marquez says that A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is written for children but its meaning is very deep. He introduced a great number of symbols and hidden ideas, which require additional attention and professional analysis.
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