A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings By Gabriel Marquez

882 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
If you were able to imprison a decrepit, senile old man in your backyard and make a large sum of money just to keep him, would you do it? The classic short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Marquez does just that, only this old man has wings. While exploring human nature and the reactions a person and people have to adversity and difference, Marquez makes some pointed criticisms of society in general. With many underlying themes and symbols, I’ll be analyzing a few such as; greed, compassion, the magical realism genre and the subtle jabs at Catholicism Marquez makes throughout the story.
Although not the initial motivation for imprisoning the old man, the discovery of the mass pilgrimage to their home encourages Pelayo and Elisenda to charge admission to see the “Angel”. The desperate see him as a cure to their ailments, and are simple-minded enough to pay handsomely to visit him, a narrative on the fool hearty nature of group thinking. After a short time of being their star attraction, Pelayo has made enough to quit his job and build a mansion while Elisenda can afford the latest fashion she’s always wanted. There’s so much greed involved in keeping someone locked up in their chicken coop, but it’s seemingly nonexistent to any of the characters, including the Priest and the church. Because the Old Man had improved their life gradually, it wasn’t noticed nor appreciated, he was generally treated like an unwanted dog until the day he flew away.…
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